Power semiconductors for novel applications

Power semiconductors for novel applications

Highly efficient power semiconductors are to pave the way for a wide range of novel applications – from e-mobility to artificial intelligence. This is the objective of the recently launched joint project “power transistors based on AlN (ForMikro-LeitBAN)” coordinated by the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut.

Smart energy supply, electro-mobility, broadband communication systems and applications of artificial intelligence (AI) – the number of interacting and interconnected systems is constantly growing. At the same time, the responsible use of resources is a crucial social challenge. With a growing number of systems and increasing data traffic, however, primary energy consumption is also on the rise. Electrical energy must be converted at all times to be usa-ble by the various systems, which is why the need for electrical conversion is also increasing. In Europe alone, it is estimated that more than three terawatt hours of energy are lost by energy conversion each year – the amount of electricity produced by a medium-sized coal-fired power plant. The efficient conversion of energy thus becomes the key for applications like in AI and industry 4.0, representing the fourth industrial revolution based on digitization processes in manufacturing. The prerequisite for this are efficiently switching power semiconductors that enable a high power density. Used to a large extent, this would result in noticeable energy savings and make a relevant contribution to CO2 reduction.

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Source: “Smaller, faster, more energy-efficient – high-performance devices for the digital transformation”, Dr. rer. nat. Elke Meisner, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB