SiC and GaN Devices - Competition or Coexistence?

Conference: CIPS 2012 - 7th International Conference on Integrated Power Electronics Systems
03/06/2012 - 03/08/2012 at Nuremberg, Germany

Proceedings: CIPS 2012

Pages: 11Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Kaminski, Nando (Inst. for El. Drives, Power Electronics, and Devices, University of Bremen, Germany)
Hilt, Oliver (Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibnitz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Berlin, Germany)

SiC-diodes are commercially available for 10 years and various SiC-switches have been commercialised recently. Now GaN-devices are emerging and first low voltage devices are already on the market. With their respective advantages and disadvantages the individual devices are well suited for some applications, while they are not suited for others. Currently, it seems that GaN-transistors are ideal for high frequency integrated circuits up to 1000 V (maybe 2000 V) and maximum a few 10 A while SiC is rather suited for discrete devices or modules with breakdown voltages above 1000 V and basically no limit in current. Only Schottky-diodes are in direct competition and it looks like an either-or-situation determined by the GaN material quality and cost. Altogether, it will be mainly coexistence but with some element of competition. However, the packaging is more and more the limiting factor with respect to switching speed and high temperature operation and at the end stability is a must and, thus, the key for the success of wide band-gap devices no matter which material they are made of.