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Mar 18th, 2011
Wide-bandgap electronics alliance formed in Taiwan
A total of 20 organizations in Taiwan have formed an alliance to develop electronics devices using compound semiconductors with wide energy bandgaps (i.e. larger than 1 or 2eV), including silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), for use in high-power electronics applications such as electric cars and LEDs, according to The Taiwan Economic News (CENS).
Wide-bandgap materials are often used in applications involving operation at high temperature and high power (above what can be withstood by narrow bandgap materials like silicon).
Alliance members are divided into groups for developing substrate materials, epiwafers, devices, modules and inspection technologies. The Taiwan government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), silicon chipmaker Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (VISC), and LED chip and epiwafer maker Epistar Corp are among the 20 or so member organizations involved in the alliance.
The alliance’s plan is to complete packaging and test verification on 600V devices by the end of this year and, three years later, to start developing application modules for use in electric cars, photovoltaic systems, distributed energy systems, and air-conditioner inverters.
ITRI executives point out that many organizations worldwide have ventured into the development of wide-bandgap technologies in a bid to improve the efficiency of power consumption. The institute forecasts that revenue for SiC semiconductor market will grow at an annual rate of 50% from 2013, to US$1.83bn in 2019.
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