Featured Article: Next Generation Power Semiconductor: What is GaN / SiC ? Sanken and Next Generation Semiconductors

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Part 2. Applications Where SiC and GaN Devices are Expected to be Used

There are many applications that are expected to achieve significant downsizing and higher efficiency of the equipment by effectively using the characteristics of SiC and GaN devices.
Here, we will introduce nine of them.

Compound semiconductors, such as SiC and GaN, are opening up new possibilities in our lives, contributing to the downsizing of electric equipment and improving energy efficiency, which have been difficult to achieve until now.

※HEMT:High Electron Mobility Transistor

Application of next generation devices 1. Data Center
data center
SiC Schottky diodes and GaN HEMTs are effective for realizing a highly efficient and compact server power supply.
Also, in large-scale data centers, the use of high-voltage DC power supply is increasing since it allows improvement in the efficiency of power distribution by reducing the number of AC / DC conversions. SiC device is useful in this type of application since the power supply will require high voltage and high efficiency.
2. Audio Visual Equipment
 audio visual equipment
Thin and large screen high-definition TVs (HDTVs) require high-efficiency power supplies of several hundred watts, and therefore, 600 V low loss SiC Schottky diodes and GaN HEMTs are expected to come into use.
3. Industrial Equipment
industrial equipment
In industrial equipment, high-voltage and high-speed SiC devices are required to generate high torque, and to perform high-precision processing in power supply of processing machines.

4. Reusable Energy
reusable energy
Natural energy, such as solar power and wind power which have a low impact on the environment, is attracting more and more attention as an alternative energy source for nuclear power and fossil fuels. As a result, there is an increasing demand for highly efficient SiC devices that can handle high voltage and high power.
In recent years, discussions on distributed power generation systems are progressing, and energy management systems for homes and apartment complexes are being introduced. SiC devices are expected to be used for highly efficient and compact power supply in this field as well.
6. White Goods
white goods
White goods are home appliances such as air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators. Inverters are becoming used worldwide to increase the efficiency of motor drive circuits used in these applications. Low loss SiC devices are expected to come in to use, for efficiency.
In this case, the high price of SiC devices is hindering the use in these applications. Therefore, the key to widespread adoption is to make them less expensive.
7. LED Lighting
LED lighting, organic EL lighting
LED lighting, which has greater efficiency and longevity than fluorescent lamps, has rapidly spread in recent years. The use of SiC Schottky diodes and GaN HEMTs are being considered in order to achieve even higher efficiency.
In addition, the surface emitting organic EL lighting which is popular for interior lighting, requires a very thin power supply. Therefore, GaN devices are expected to be effective for realizing an ultra-thin power supply.
8. USB-PD (USB Power Delivery)

USB-PD (USB Power Delivery) , one of the power supply standards for charging devices using an USB cable, can receive and supply up to 100 W.
The USB-PD power supply must be able to charge quickly, supply multiple voltages so that it can be connected to various devices such as smartphones and laptops, and be small enough for carrying and embedding in small spaces.
GaN HEMTs are effective in meeting these requirements, since they are high voltage devices capable of performing MHz switching operation while maintaining efficiency. Realization of higher frequencies can greatly reduce the size of inductors and other passive elements used in power circuits.
9. Electric Vehicles and Quick Chargers / Contactless Power Transfer
EV, quick charger, contactless power transfer
From the perspective of global environmental conservation, the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EV) is desired at an early stage, and SiC devices are expected to play an active role in this field as well.
Reducing the weight of the vehicle body is essential for improving the electric power consumption of an EV. Replacing a silicon device used in inverters with a low-loss SiC device will enable a highly efficient and lightweight inverter, extending the EV driving range and reducing the battery loading capacity.
Also, SiC devices with a high withstand voltage and high-frequency operation are optimal for EV quick chargers and contactless power transfer.

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Part 1. Compound Semiconductors: What Are SiC and GaN?
   ■ Characteristics of SiC and GaN Devices
   ■ Applications of SiC and GaN Devices to Replace Silicon Devices

Part 2. Applications Where SiC and GaN Devices Are Expected to Be Used
   ■ 9 Applications Where SiC and GaN Devices are Expected to be Used

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