Ascatron reported that it has obtained €3.5 million funding for SiC product development. The company secured the funding as a result of the recently completed sale of its shares in a joint venture company, BASIC Semiconductor in China.
BASIC Semiconductor was founded by Swedish company Ascatron and Chinese firm Bronze Technology Ltd. in 2017.
Ascatron develops high-performance SiC power semiconductors using its proprietary 3DSiC® technology.
SiC drastically reduces losses in electric power converters and lowers system costs, making it a key technology for numerous applications including electric vehicles, industrial motor drives, and renewable energy.
The company focuses on supplying bare SiC dies for power modules and discrete components.
In addition to the general advantages and benefits of SiC, Ascatron says its 3DSiC technology enables higher current density, improved reliability, and up to 30% lower power dissipation.
An automotive-qualified SiC foundry is used for the company’s fabrication process for volume production of SiC power diodes and MOSFETs.
“We use advanced epitaxial growth as part of the manufacturing process of our SiC devices to form buried doped structures as voltage blocking elements. These structures protect the sensitive die surface from high electric fields and allow device designs optimized for high power ratings,” said Adolf Schöner, CTO of Ascatron. “The key performance advantages are 15-30% higher current density and reliable operation even at elevated temperatures.”
The company’s first 3DSiC devices available for design-in projects with customers are 1700V and 1200V JBS diodes. The production process is expected to be qualified in Q4 of 2019. The design is modular and can be customized to meet application-specific requirements. MOSFETs are expected to be ready for production in Q2 2020.
“The cost advantage of our 3DSiC® devices comes into play especially at higher voltage and current ratings,” said Christian Vieider, CEO of Ascatron. “The near-term target for our SiC diodes are 1200V and 1700V power modules. Next step will be to scale-up our SiC device wafer capacity together with our production partners”.
Ascatron produces its own SiC epitaxy material with what the company describes as state-of-the-art thickness and doping homogeneity also for thick layers. The company says that epitaxy material production enables a high manufacturing yield for devices with high voltage and high current ratings.