News Article

PowerAmerica Updates WBG Roadmap

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Industry must reduce costs, improve reliability perceptions, enhance performance, and strengthen the ecosystem.

PowerAmerica has unveiled an updated technology roadmap to provide a common vision of the future for the WBG (wide bandgap) community to work toward.

This roadmap outlines key markets and application areas as well as the performance targets GaN and SiC technologies are expected to meet over time, technical barriers to achieving those targets, and activities needed to overcome those barriers.

While WBG technologies such as SiC and GaN offer significant capabilities for power electronics, industry must overcome numerous challenges including high material and manufacturing costs, reliability perceptions, packaging and performance requirements, and difficulty coordinating efforts across the entire power electronics ecosystem.

Recent progress against these challenges in automotive applications, PV inverters, and power supplies is encouraging; however, SiC and GaN have not taken off as rapidly in traction applications, industrial motor drives, and wind turbines. Further strides are needed to begin manufacturing these devices at high volumes and competitive costs across the full range of useful applications.

The following high-level recommendations are a summary of the actions found PowerAmerica's 5- Year Roadmap Strategy.

Reducing Cost

- Lower the $/ampere of WBG devices and power modules.

- Support vertically integrated fabrication.

- Support and promote early adopter, high-volume WBG applications.

- Establish SiC and GaN open foundries to scale to high-volume manufacturing.

Improving Reliability and Quality

- Establish WBG power electronics reliability at system-level and investigate degradation/failure mechanisms of devices, modules, or systems.

- Develop open databases for reliability data.

- Develop capability to perform AECQ or JEDEC standard tests for WBG power devices.

-Set dedicated standards for WBG power electronics.

Enhancing Performance Capabilities

- Focus on near-term applications to demonstrate the system-level advantages of WBG power devices.

- Support pathways to commercialisation for industry-led projects.

- Promote reference designs, advanced gate drives and modules, and work in advanced peripherals.

Strengthening the Power Electronics Ecosystem

- Continue to offer the Device Bank for quick access to SiC and GaN devices.

- Continue to provide communication mechanisms for different levels of stakeholders, from vendors to end users.

- Train a WBG power electronics workforce.

- Monitor basic core technologies, state-of-the-art complementary technologies, and long-term applications to identify promising opportunities.

A more detailed version of the roadmap, available to members only, outlines key markets and application areas for SiC and GaN power electronics, the performance targets GaN and SiC technologies are expected to meet over time, technical barriers to achieving those targets, and activities needed to overcome those barriers.


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