Pallidus Inc (a Melior Innovation company) of Houston, TX, USA has launched its proprietary M-SiC silicon carbide source material and technology platform, with the capability to deliver cost/performance parity against silicon devices in the $12.5bn power device market, it is claimed.
With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of greater than 25%, silicon carbide power devices deliver superior performance in key segments of the power electronics market (wind energy, electronic vehicles and aerospace), notes the firm. The ability to achieve cost/performance parity with silicon devices will increase market penetration by up to six times – creating a market value of >$1.bn in SiC power devices, it adds. The biggest hurdle to market expansion is the cost and availability of high-quality silicon carbide wafers, says Pallidus.
Compatible with existing manufacturing processes, M-SiC reduces the production cycle and improves both the quality and overall yield of silicon carbide wafers, says Pallidus. By reducing wafer defects, M-SiC can improve overall device yield, adds the firm. Taken together, M-SiC can deliver up to a 50% decrease in both wafer and device production costs with a significantly lower capital investment, it is claimed.
“The very high purity and form of M-SiC has allowed us to grow the highest-quality 4H-SiC 6-inch wafers with the lowest defect density we have ever seen,” comments Andrei Maltsev, president of AGP Technologies LLC.
“M-SiC exhibits exceptional opportunity for the growth of highest-quality crystals,” believes professor Peter Wellman of Germany’s University of Erlangen. “In addition, the capability to produce custom-shaped ‘charges’ enables the never before seen opportunity to achieve ideal system performance,” he adds.
“Despite its superior performance, high cost is the key obstacle for the full adoption of SiC power devices,” comments Dr Hong Lin, technology & market analyst at Yole Developpement. “In particular, the SiC wafer contributes up to 60% of the final cost. Technology that can drive a major cost reduction will immediately and significantly accelerate SiC technology adoption and penetration.”