PowerAmerica is repurposing a former six-inch silicon foundry to manufacture wide bandgap power electronics devices. Establishing a PowerAmerica process based on university research is critical to lowering the entry barrier in this highly specialized field. Today Xfab is running devices in its foundry from four other PowerAmerica members in its facilities. These companies are collaborating to create new opportunities for business. Much work remains before us, but the ground work has inspired participation in this new venture from within and outside of the Institute.
The success of the National Manufacturing Institutes depends on manufacturing becoming a highly desirable job for the workforce of the future. PowerAmerica started that process its first year by engaging 225 freshman engineering students at North Carolina State University in their introduction to engineering course to the next generation of Power Electronics. Building a pipeline of talent excited about future manufacturing sets in motion our pathway to tomorrow. The demands for power includes all disciplines of engineering and matches the interests of young people in building a sustainable future through renewable and efficient energy sources.
PowerAmerica, the Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and Lockheed Martin are partnering to develop a new generation of power-efficient microelectronic devices that will reduce energy loss across the power grid and enhance the performance of future aerospace systems.
PowerAmerica, a private-public partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, industry and academia, has released a new call for projects to advance wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor manufacturing and to accelerate the adoption of WBG semiconductor power electronics applications.
Issued October 2nd, the call for projects requests participation on:
- Projects that lower the cost and increase the availability of wide bandgap power electronic devices by increasing gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) foundry capacity.
- Projects that advance innovative WBG semiconductor devices from design through qualification and accelerate the pathway for devices to reach volume manufacturing.
- Projects that increase the acceptance and adoption of WBG power electronics by advanced packaging and demonstrating reliability of SiC and GaN devices.
- Projects to accelerate commercialization of WBG power electronics applications in:
- Transportation and energy constrained mobile systems.
- Renewable energy power conversion and energy exploration
- Energy efficiency for communications and digital systems
- High voltage systems and energy efficient motor drives.
- Education and workforce development for WBG semiconductors and power electronics.
Details and a schedule can be found at http://www.poweramericainstitute.org/call-for-projects/. Technical applications require 1:1 cost sharing.
“The advantages of WBG are tremendous,” said John Muth, Deputy Director of PowerAmerica. “Compared to silicon, in many applications using WBG power electronics the system can be reduced in size and weight, operate at higher temperatures and cut energy losses in half. This is a great opportunity for U.S. industry to excel and compete with the rest of the world and is a fantastic area for young engineers to further their careers.”
PowerAmerica is a private-public partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, industry and academia. Members include a growing number of leading U.S. companies, academic institutions, and government laboratories.
Led by North Carolina State University and located on Centennial Campus, the mission of PowerAmerica is to develop advanced manufacturing processes to enable cost-competitive, large-scale production of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power electronics, which allow electronic systems to be smaller, faster and more efficient than power electronics made from silicon. PowerAmerica is a $146 million program, with $70 million provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and $76 million provided by industry, state and academia through cost sharing. www.poweramericainstitute.org
About NC State University
NC State University is a public, coeducational research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. With more than 34,000 undergraduate and graduate students, NC State is the largest university in North Carolina and surrounding states. It is also a leader in attracting sponsored research, including being the only university in the U.S. leading two National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers – the FREEDM and ASSIST Centers. NC State is also home to Centennial Campus, a 1,213-acre research campus that houses 70 corporate, governmental and non-profit partners and numerous academic programs, including the College of Engineering, College of Textiles, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. www.ncsu.edu.
930 Main Campus Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606
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