Rohm recently completed a new building at the Rohm Apollo Factory in Shikogo, Japan. The facility aims to improve the production capacity of silicon carbide (SiC) power devices. This innovative building features factory automation and renewable energy-saving technologies for an environmental perspective on manufacturing In an interview with EE Times, Jay Barros, President, and Ming Soo, Technical Marketing Director, both at Rohm Semiconductor USA, highlighted how SiC technology is evolving in electric vehicles (EVs) and equipment. Industrial and how Rohm continues to invest in this area. Barrus and Su said Rohm is working to improve manufacturing efficiency by increasing the diameter of the wafer size “From a general perspective, there are three factors to consider as a reliable supplier: technology, cost and availability of supply,” Barrus said. “The latter is not a big problem today but it could play its part in the coming months. We recently announced that the Apollo plant is operational, and we expect good things in the future for production.” “Price is something that we don’t realize is real only in the market; we perceive it as an essential component of certain applications.” “We give our customers the technical advantages of SiC and the cost structure of converting to silicon carbide.” In addition to this new building, SiCrystal GmbH, a Rohm group company that makes SiC wafers, will start producing 100% renewable energy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from energy purchases at the plant to zero. “All major carbon carbide wafer production processes will use renewable energy,” said Barros. Jay Barrus SiC Facility Rohm’s Apollo facility produces SiC solutions with state-of-the-art technologies. The importance of automation includes the Industry 4.0 methodology in the SiC fabrication flow, where efficient manufacturing of the substrate determines the success of all downstream devices. “There are two main features of our new facility,” Barros said. The first is that, being in the region we are in, we must be aware of earthquakes. Japan as a whole has always been very sensitive to this, and this plant in this case is very designed not only for production efficiency but also, and most importantly, for the safety of people. The other interesting thing is providing electricity to buildings through renewable resources, which shows that we are an environmentally responsible company and that we manage facilities in a way that makes our carbon footprint very low. “In terms of applications, we are pushing hard in the automotive and industrial markets,” he added. “On the automotive side, we deal with major vehicle electrification applications using common devices such as traction inverters and on-board chargers.” In the conventional onboard charging system, There is a bridge rectifier to convert AC voltage into DC, but during the rectification process there are high losses of conduction, switching and heating in the power conversion stage.For SiC units, Rohm notes that the choice of materials is an important factor in providing the best thermal performance. : “Traditionally, power units use PVC which is based on aluminum oxide ceramics.” But he added, “But now, people want to use a more expensive ceramic material that has a higher thermal conductivity, such as silicon nitride, so we can make sure that the right size chip can Dealing with the maximum possible current without affecting various parasitic elements. Inductors that limit switching speed. ”Ming Su’s goal is to provide the next generation of SiC MOSFETs to improve performance. Given the size and competitiveness against IGBTs, Su noted that cost improvement is still required. Ming Su said,“ We plan to launch the new generation of production. Large volumes by the end of this year to support electric vehicle production. ”The company’s fourth generation SiC MOSFETs use a double-trench MOSFET on thinner SiC molds to reduce RDS (ON) by 40%.“ For high-power systems, the current density will be coupled. Mounting MOSFET chip level in combination with welding and silver sintering on both sides of a SiC mold to achieve improved power cycle reliability and better thermal performance with flexible modular beams. ”IGBT traction inverter still has a market, especially for conventional hybrid composites. SiC will be more expensive than IGBTs, but it sure is. It could improve overall efficiency compared to IGBT advancement. “We are working to improve silicon carbide production efficiency with 6” chips. “In the future, we are sure that we have preparations already underway for further preparation and promotion to chips as small as 6”. 8 inches would improve productivity and reduce cost per mold. ”SiC in power MOSFETs has a series of advantages over its silicon counterpart, such as higher conductivity, faster switching speed, and less energy loss. It also works at a higher temperature and voltage. With these benefits, it increases the efficiency and energy density of the MOSFET. SiC Schottky diodes provide higher switching performance, higher efficiency, higher power density, and lower system cost than their silicon version counterpart. These diodes provide minimal reverse recovery, low forward voltage drop, surge capacity, high voltage ratings, and positive temperature coefficient. The new diodes target power transformer designers for a variety of applications, including solar PV inverters, electric vehicle chargers, power supplies and automotive applications. It has a lower and higher leakage current of doping compared to silicon. On the other hand, the challenges for SiC diodes are to differentiate in terms of performance and offer a very good price as well. Rohm offers 1200-V and 650-V solutions. Modern Schottky’s diaphragm diode products include a JBS chassis, which integrates p-n junctions inside the chip that allow us to suppress leakage current out of the case as well as increase the overcurrent handling capacity. “This product is currently available in 650 volts as third-generation silicon carbide diode valves,” Ming Soo said. “Soon, we will provide 1200 volts as well.” SiC production line starts at 650V and goes up to 1700V; For GaN devices, the industry is focusing on either 600 or 650 volts, ”said Su.“ We are prioritizing the development of GaN at 150V, which will be applied to some base station applications and other power inverters that support a 40- to 48V bus architecture. ” A semiconductor with a wide band gap, diamond is another material with multiple superior properties, including unmatched thermal conductivity, high charge carrier mobility, and high electric field breakdown strength.Diamond physics offers enormous potential for high-energy electronics technology with applications in Transport and energy sectors Research is ongoing in this area The Rum Apollo facility This article was originally published by E-Times’ sister publishing house.