PowerAmerica Member UnitedSiC Announces Strategic Investment by Analog Devices; New Power Device Offerings

PowerAmerica member UnitedSiC has announced a strategic investment and long-term supply agreement with Analog Devices, Inc. “From our first meeting with the ADI Power team, they instantly understood the value of our SiC technology and the ease with which the devices could be scaled and utilized in their power platforms,” said Chris Dries, President and CEO at UnitedSiC.  UnitedSiC and ADI have been collaborating on SiC-based products and devices for more than two years.

As wide bandgap power devices, and SiC in particular, become more mainstream and cost effective, the inclusion of these devices should further strengthen ADI’s analog power portfolio.

Steve Pietkiewicz, Senior VP of Power Products at ADI said, “For the last few years, we have been actively following the development and progress of silicon carbide technology and devices. We found UnitedSiC’s FET technology to be ideally suited for ADI’s high performance power platforms and our pursuit of additional high voltage applications.”

Additionally, UnitedSiC announced it has released a range of SiC JFET die suitable for co-packaging with a controller IC with built in low voltage MOSFET to fabricate an extremely fast, cascode-based, 20-100W flyback charger products.  These JFETs are ideal for applications such as consumer electronics adapters, auxiliary power supplies and high-power, long LED lightning chains. “With the addition of these new SiC JFETs, UnitedSiC now has one of the largest SiC power portfolios in the industry,” says UnitedSiC CEO Chris Dries. “We now have high-performance JFET functionality in both die and discrete package form.”

UnitedSiC is a founding member of the PowerAmerica organization, and continues to work together at accelerating the global adoption of wide bandgap technology products.

PowerAmerica Student Profile: Andrew Galamb

PowerAmerica works with an array of students from its 17 member universities, who assist with research on various institute-funded projects. This month, we are profiling Andrew Galamb, a student at N.C. State University pursuing his PhD in Electrical Engineering with a focus on wide bandgap devices. Andrew works under Dr. Srdjan Lukic, a researcher who with support from PowerAmerica has developed a medium voltage fast charger with SiC technology for electric vehicles. Read our interview with Andrew here.

Hi Andrew! Tell us about your work with wide bandgap to date.

I have worked with Dr. Lukic and others on the EcoPRT (Economical Personal Rapid Transit) project. This is a joint project between the Mechanical and Electrical departments of N.C. State with a goal of creating an autonomous, two person electric vehicle that would transport people between campuses. The Mechanical Department has developed the body and drivetrain, and my team and I have been working on the wireless charging to allow for the vehicle to operate well without human intervention. The wireless charging system will use both silicon carbide and gallium nitride devices in the topology, and we are currently prototyping the printed circuit board.

How did you get interested in wide bandgap technology?

My interest in wide bandgap power electronics started when I learned about the work going on at the FREEDM Systems Center (another institute at N.C. State) to create a new smart grid that could incorporate more renewable energy. I have always been interested in reducing people’s impact on their environment, and the work happening at the FREEDM Center will make a big difference in the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid. I learned about the potential of wide bandgap devices and their improved efficiency and power density, and I was enthralled.

How have you benefitted from being involved with PowerAmerica?

PowerAmerica has supplied me with substantial opportunity for technical and professional improvement. The EcoPRT project has allowed me to explore power electronics and wide bandgap devices on a level that I would never have been able to with my regular undergraduate education. The real world experience gained on this project helped me secure my internship with Danfoss, and got me interested in doing my PhD. I have also had the chance to present a 90 second pitch about my research at the PowerAmerica annual meeting twice now, and that has been valuable public speaking experience.

What would you tell a fellow student interested in a career in wide bandgap?

If you are interested in wide bandgap devices, I would strongly recommend taking a short course on the subject. I had the chance to take one, and it gave me a starting point to enter the world of wide bandgap semiconductors.

New Member Group NIRE Offers WBG Testing Services

History of Group NIRE
Group NIRE was formed in 2010 by Texas Tech University to meet the demand for fast test site development. Group NIRE was created to do what universities cannot to help propel the industry forward. Group NIRE’s smaller size allows more mobility in the acquisition and development of projects and
testing. GNIRE has since grown to cover several areas in testing including renewable energy, energy storage, weather forecasting, and grid modernization. In 2015, Group NIRE and DNV GL were selected to evaluate energy storage systems by the DOE as a part of the ARPA-E CHARGES program. In 2016,the DOE selected GNIRE, DNV GL, and Geli as part of the ARPA-E NODES program. As a part of these programs, GNIRE has tested, evaluated, and validated numerous technologies. During its lifetime GNIRE has grown in the testing arena and continuously fills numerous gaps in market. Over time, GNIRE has seen a need for a more in-depth approach to testing. To improve testing, GNIRE has comprised a staff of electrical engineers and technicians as well as engineering interns to work toward a more solidified approach concerning energy testing. GNIRE has also built several labs and testing facilities to accommodate current projects as well as future endeavors. GNIRE is now leveraging its  testing ability along with its relationship with the Texas Tech Pulse Power Lab to further immerse itself further into the testing market with Wide Bandgap Device (WBG) testing. GNIRE feels that its resources and business agility, make it a perfect fit in the test and measurement market.

WBG Semiconductor Testing at Group NIRE
Through its relationship with Dr. Stephen Bayne, of the TTU Pulsed Power and Power Electronics Lab, GNIRE has built up staff and resources that have increased its ability to do research, development, and testing in the power electronics field. Some of the projects GNIRE is currently engaged in include the design and creation of a WBG Linear Transformer Drive pulser and the research and development of a cutting edge WBG dV/dt test bed. GNIRE has also recently submitted multiple proposals and sent to the DOE and the DOD including compact high voltage WBG pulsers; WBG DC/DC converters; WBG device packaging; and WBG inverter design, comparison studies, and validation. Of these projects, GNIRE is currently using its research into dV/dt device testing to test the dV/dt capabilities of two cutting edge devices for a customer. This research and development increases the magnitude of dV/dt available for testing and will be automated and integrated into GNIRE and TTU’s newest project with PowerAmerica. The Group NIRE-TTU-PowerAmerica project is focused on establishing an independent testing facility to perform reliability analysis of WBG semiconductor devices in order to improve the confidence in long- term reliability performance of these devices. To accomplish this project, GNIRE, TTU, and PowerAmerica are recreating and improving existing TTU research testbeds and installing them for commercial use at GNIRE’s testing facility. A new safety oriented high-power lab is being created where lab technicians can work alongside electrical engineers to accomplish testing tasks.

Tune in for PowerAmerica Technical Webinar by University of Colorado-Boulder Researcher Hanh-Phuc Le

Dr. Hanh Phuc-Le, a researcher at the University of Colorado-Boulder, will speak about the research he is doing through PowerAmerica during the institute’s monthly webinar series on Wednesday, April 3. The talk is titled, “Converters for Large Conversion Ratios and High Current Density.”

Dr. Hanh-Phuc Le is Assistant Professor of ECEE at the University of Colorado Boulder. He co-founded, helped secure ~$14M in funding, and served as the CTO at Lion Semiconductor until October 2015. He also held R&D positions at Oracle, Intel, Rambus, JDA Tech in Korea and the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. His current research interests include miniaturized/on-die power conversions, large conversion ratios, smart power delivery and control for high performance IT systems, data centers, telecommunication, robots, automotive, mobile, wearable, and IoT applications. Read his full biography.

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New Member-Driven WBG Projects Kick Off

PowerAmerica is pleased to announce the recent kickoff of four new projects to accelerate SiC and GaN technology – selected by members. As part of membership in PowerAmerica, members utilize their dues to fund wide bandgap projects that they select based on areas of interest to PowerAmerica membership and the SiC and GaN ecosystem. Want to have a voice in driving the wide bandgap power electronics industry forward in the U.S.? Reach out to our Membership Director Jim LeMunyon about joining PowerAmerica.

The member-initiated projects are:

  • Quantifying Power Device Reliability Due to Terrestrial and Other Radiation Sources (Akin Akturk, CoolCAD Electronics)
  • Establish an Independent Testing Facility to Perform Reliability Analysis of Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Devices (Stephen Bayne, Texas Tech/Group NIRE)
  • High Voltage Bi-Directional On-Board Charger with Integrated PCB Winding Magnetic Components (Qiang Li, Virginia Tech)
  • Short-Circuit Behavior and Protection of Next Generation 1.2kV SiC Modules (Jin Wang, The Ohio State University)

PowerAmerica to Showcase Significant Progress in the Adoption of Wide Bandgap Power Electronics Technology at APEC 2019

As part of Manufacturing USA, the PowerAmerica Institute and its member companies have gained acclaim for expanding the commercialization of the U.S. wide bandgap semiconductor industry

ANAHEIM, CA (March 6, 2019) – The PowerAmerica Institute, a Department of Energy-backed Manufacturing USA institute at N.C. State University, is exhibiting at the 2019 Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) in Anaheim, California, from March 17 – 21 at the Anaheim Convention Center. During APEC, representatives from PowerAmerica will be onsite to share with attendees the significant progress the institute has made toward advancing the development and adoption of wide bandgap semiconductor technology in the United States. To date, the institute has provided approximately $100 million in funding to more than 120 projects aimed at driving the industry toward the widespread adoption of next generation silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power electronics technology. A complete description of these projects is contained in the institute’s recently released annual report, entitled “Transforming U.S. Manufacturing Through Advances in Wide Bandgap Power Electronics, One Innovation at a Time.” A complete list of PowerAmerica members presenting at APEC can be viewed here.

The power electronics trade media has also taken notice of the significant contributions the institute and its members have made to the industry. In its latest issue, the editor of Power Systems Design North America, Jason Lomberg, called PowerAmerica a key player in the effort to overcome the cost hurdle faced by wide bandgap technologies, noting that institutes like PowerAmerica will “drive down prices – and the future looks bright.”

In addition to exhibiting at Booth #466, PowerAmerica will host an industry panel, entitled “Advances in the Adoption of WBG Semiconductors in Commercial and Industrial Applications,” on Thursday, March 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. in Room 210BC. The panel will be chaired by Membership Director Jim LeMunyon, along with member companies UnitedSiC, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, ABB, Navitas, and GE.

PowerAmerica members exhibiting at APEC 2019 include GeneSiC, Navitas, UnitedSiC, and Wolfspeed. Several of these companies were highlighted for their commercial successes in PowerAmerica’s 2018 annual report, including:

  • GeneSiC, which is manufacturing and distributing 3.3kV SiC MOSFETS on a global scale, using the X-FAB foundry in Lubbock, Texas (the world’s only open SiC foundry and PowerAmerica’s largest project to date)
  • UnitedSiC, which is shipping SiC MOSFETs in volume for use in electric vehicles and industrial power supplies
  • Navitas, whose GaN integrated circuits are setting industry standards in energy efficiency, power density, and manufacturability for consumer adapters and charger applications.

PowerAmerica member companies such as Wolfspeed, John Deere, ABB, and others also have projects profiled in the reportand will participate in multiple technical sessions at APEC regarding wide bandgap technologies.

Additionally, PowerAmerica Deputy Executive Director and CTO Victor Veliadis has been selected as a mentor participant in the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) Mentoring Round Table at APEC 2019.

For more information about the PowerAmerica Institute, please visit Booth #466 at APEC 2019, navigate to www.poweramericainstitute.org, e-mail poweramerica@ncsu.edu, or call 919-515-6013.

Editor’s Note: To schedule an appointment with a PowerAmerica representative at APEC 2019, please contact Christina Sandidge, public relations specialist, BtB Marketing Communications, at christina.sandidge@btbmarketing.com or 919-872-8172.

About PowerAmerica
The PowerAmerica Institute at N.C. State University was founded in 2015 and is one of 14 Manufacturing USA Institutes nationwide. Each institute is focused on growing a sector of advanced manufacturing, making the U.S. better poised to compete economically on a global scale. PowerAmerica is backed by $70 million in funding from the Department of Energy, with matching funds from industry partners and the state of North Carolina. PowerAmerica’s mission is to save energy and create U.S. manufacturing jobs by accelerating the development and large-scale adoption of wide bandgap semiconductor technology made with silicon carbide and gallium nitride in power electronics systems.

About the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) 
As the premier event in Applied Power Electronics, APEC focuses on the practical and applied aspects of the power electronics business, including equipment OEMs that use power supplies and dc-dc converters; designers of power supplies, dc-dc converters, motor drives, uninterruptable power supplies, inverters and other power electronic circuits, equipment and systems; manufacturers and suppliers of components and assemblies used in power electronics; manufacturing, quality, and compliance test engineers involved with power electronics equipment.

Tune in Wednesday, March 6, for PowerAmerica Technical Webinar

WhatDr. Daniel Costinett, a researcher at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, will speak about the research he is doing through PowerAmerica during the institute’s monthly webinar series on Wednesday, March 6. The talk is titled, “Multi-Receiver Wireless Power Transfer for Consumer Electronics Leveraging Wide Bandgap Semiconductors.”

Dr. Daniel Costinett is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK).  His research interests include resonant and soft switching power converter design, high efficiency wired and wireless power supplies, on-chip power conversion, medical devices, and electric vehicles. Read his full biography here.

WhenWednesday, March 6 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EDT

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Veliadis Outlines PowerAmerica Strategy for Accelerating Commercialization of WBG Electronics

Curious about what PowerAmerica does and our overall strategy for accelerating the commercialization of wide bandgap power electronics in the United States? Are you familiar with our work and want the latest update? Deputy Executive Director/Chief Technical Officer Victor Veliadis outlines our strategy in last month’s (December 2018) issue of IEEE’s Power Electronics Magazine, available here.

A second article in the issue highlights Veliadis’ plenary talk at ECCE 2018, “SiC Power Devices: High-Impact Applications and Path to Wide Adoption,” and can be read here.

Dr. Victor Veliadis, Deputy Executive Director and CTO of PowerAmerica.

Join Us Next Week for Technical Webinar: “Practical Considerations for GaN-based Implementations”

What: Dr. Madhav D. Manjrekar and Clint W. Halsted, researchers at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, will speak about the research they are doing through PowerAmerica during the institute’s monthly webinar series on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The talk is titled, “Practical Considerations for GaN-based Implementations.”

Madhav D. Manjrekar currently works as an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Manjrekar also serves as an Assistant Director of Energy and Power Conditioning at the Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC).

Clint W. Halsted is currently pursuing his Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC. Mr. Halsted also serves as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UNC Charlotte.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EDT

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995 862 196
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Join Us for PowerAmerica’s Industry-Led Technical Webinar from GeneSiC


Dr. Ranbir Singh, founder and vice president of GeneSiC Semiconductor, a pioneer and world leader in silicon carbide technology, will speak about his company’s transition of its SiC Schottky MPSTM Diodes and MOSFETs to a 150mm foundry and other topics during the institute’s monthly webinar series on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The talk is titled, “State of the Art SiC Schottky MPS Rectifiers and High Voltage MOSFETs.”


Dr. Ranbir Singh

Dr. Ranbir Singh received a Ph.D. and MS degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, and B. Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He founded GeneSiC Semiconductor in 2004. Prior to that he conducted research on SiC power devices first at Cree, and then at the NIST, Gaithersburg, MD. In 2012, EE Times named Dr. Singh as among “40 Innovators building the foundations of next generation electronics industry.” In 2011, he won the R&D100 award towards his efforts in commercializing 6.5kV SiC Thyristors. He has published over 160 journal and conference papers, is an author on 28 issued US patents, and has authored a book.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EDT

Access Information:
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Meeting Number
990 483 726
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Access Code: 990 483 726