US compound semiconductor specialist II‐VI has licensed silicon carbide SiC technology from General Electric to make devices and modules for power electronics.
The rapid growth in electric vehicles, renewable energy, microgrids, and power supplies for data storage and communications is driving the strong demand for silicon carbide. The higher voltage and switching frequency provides higher efficiencies with less need for thermal cooling.
“We believe that SiC-based power electronics materials and components will become increasingly deployed in electrification systems including, for example, in electric vehicles, industrial infrastructure, and large datacentres, and so we continue to invest to position II-VI in strategic points of the evolving supply chains to enable key customers,” said Dr Vincent D. Mattera, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of II-VI, based in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania.
“As such, we intend to remain focused on executing our recently announced plan to scale our capacity of 150 mm SiC materials by 5-10x while scaling volume production of a differentiated 200 mm materials technology to meet the anticipated growing demand over the next five years.”
Back in December, II-VI signed a multiyear $100m deal to supply SiC substrates for gallium nitride (GaN) RF power amplifiers for 5G wireless base stations. It has also been working on crystal growth, substrate fabrication and polishing and is developing 200m SiC substrates. The GE technology allows II-VI to expand into the power device and module markets which is a major step for the company.
“We’re excited to enter into this agreement with II-VI, which positions II-VI well to capitalize on the growing market demand for SiC-based electronics,” said Joe Krisciunas, President of GE Aviation Electrical Power Systems. “At the same time, it will broaden GE’s commercial reach beyond the industry sectors we already serve with SiC technology.”
The SiC technology has been adopted by the Aviation business in GE but is also being used by the other industrial businesses for electrical power