High-performance GaAs semiconductors from 35PE excel at rapid charging for e-vehicles

High-performance GaAs semiconductors from 35PE excel at rapid charging for e-vehicles

The first product family from the Dresden-based company is being tested with customers in Europe and Asia

 

High-performance gallium arsenide (GaAs)-based electronics have the potential to help new technologies achieve breakthrough. A study at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) of the development of ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicles has demonstrated that GaAs diodes from 3-5 Power Electronics GmbH (35PE) Dresden can deliver promising results. “The trials showed that circuits can be laid out much more efficiently than with silicon-carbide-based (SiC) products and that there are close to zero losses,” report 35PE Managing Directors Dr. Gerhard Bolenz and Dr. Volker Dudek. A follow-up project is subjecting the GaAs diodes to practical testing with a charging station manufacturer and a further research partner.

These high-performance semiconductors, which operate almost without current or voltage, represent 35PE’s first new product family since the start of production in spring 2018. “These ‘soft switching’ applications are particularly suitable for use in electric mobility and industrial electronics, such as plasma welding. The first samples are already being tested with potential customers in Europe and Asia,” explain the managing directors. The product family, which was originally designed for diodes in the 600 volt and 1200 volt range, is being expanded to include the 400 volt range due to demand. The engineers are also working on high-performance semiconductors for hard switching applications. In addition to the automotive and industrial sectors, this will appeal to customers in the renewable energy industry.

35PE is working with others in order to facilitate the leap from start-up to manufacturer, and the GaAs Performance Electronics innovation forum, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics, has enabled it to attract key partners to build up a network of experts and manufacturers. Foundrypartner is a German industrial company with mass production capacity. While an LPE (liquid phase epitaxy) process is used to refine wafers into high-performance semiconductors in Dresden, the Foundry undertakes further chip processing of LPE wafers, as well as providing quality assurance and logistics, and also uses a MOVPE (gas phase epitaxy) process to expand wafer capacity in general as an alternative source to LPE wafers.

35PE is working with another partner at an international level on sales and marketing, as a result of which it has acquired sales and distribution agents in Germany, China, Japan and other Asian countries. The cooperation even extends to recruitment. “We are actively looking for staff and want to expand our laboratory division, among other things, with measuring and testing services in Dresden. Motivated, like-minded individuals with a good technical background are welcome here,” remark the Managing Directors. 35PE currently has seven in-house employees and works with two external experts. With growing customer interest, the company plans to expand to around 20 staff in the next few years.

 

About 35PE

3-5 Power Electronics (35PE) is expanding the field of high-performance electronics with innovative gallium arsenide semiconductor technology, helping to improve energy efficiency. The company has developed an innovative process for manufacturing high-performance semiconductors for high voltages/current strengths, applying thick layers of GaAs to GaAs substrates. This new process has significantly reduced the overall cost of producing efficient, high-performance devices. 35PE was founded at the end of 2015; the company’s leadership team includes experts with many years’ international experience in the development of semiconductor technology and in establishing and leading semiconductor companies, and is supported by prominent investors. The company is based in Dresden, Germany.

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