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PRESS RELEASE: Challenge - New power devices for electric vehicles kicked off!

Challenge project kicked off with a successful meeting on January 23 in Brussels. Challenge is a HORIZON 2020 project financed under the NMBP (Nanotechnologies, advanced Materials, Biotechnology and Production) work programme that studies growth, processing and devices in cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC). 3C-SiC technology can have a large impact on the future power device market and is particularly suited for implementation in hybrid electrical vehicles.

The CHALLENGE project officially started in Brussels with its Kick-off meeting, proposing a new strategic approach to nanotechnology innovation applied to power devices. CHALLENGE is a research and innovation action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, with the objective of developing an advanced, cost-effective, sustainable material speeding up the operation of power- electronics devices based on the improved properties of the new material and its component. The activities will focus on cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) growth, processing and devices optimisation. This technology can have a large impact in the future power device market, which is segmented by voltage rating. In particular CHALLENGE is looking at improving power efficiency in the consumer market between 600V and 1200V. This market is growing rapidly and according to the main market agency previsions, it will go from 100 million dollars in 2020 to 300 million dollars in 2023. Manufactures are still looking for the best technological solution that will enable better performances, efficiency and consistent low costs of power devices. The low cost of the 3C-SiC approach and the high scalability of this material makes this technology extremely competitive in the motor drives of Electric-Hybrid Vehicles. This research activity is strategic, as it has applications in several fields: from telecommunication to automotive, from consumer electronics to electrical household appliances, from industrial applications to home automation. CHALLENGE is willing to overcome the technological barrier and facilitate the use of a cost effective, low environmental impact new material in the semiconductor’s family. 14 partners from 7 countries with expertise across the whole supply chain (equipment, materials, characterisations, processing, power devices, simulations), are engaged for the next 4 years to maintain excellence and competitiveness in Europe and further develop the semiconductor’s sector. The Kick off meeting was a great opportunity to meet all the 14 partners including 9 private companies and to have a common understanding about the tasks and roles of each and everyone in the project. Moreover partners presented the 6 work packages and discussed some key managerial and financial issues. Project title: 3C-SiCHetero-epitaxiALLy grown on silicon compliancE substrates and new 3C-SiC substrates for sustaiNable wide-band-Gap powEr devices (CHALLENGE) Duration: 48 months Topic: Advanced Materials for Power Electronics based on wide bandgap semiconductor devices technology Total H2020 grant: 7,997,822 € CHALLENGE partners • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ITA) • University of Erlangen (D) • LPE SPA (ITA) • NOVASiC SA (FRA) • Anvil Semiconductors Ltd (UK) • ASCATRON AB (SWE) • University of Milano-Bicocca (ITA) • Silvaco Europe Ltd (UK) • MOVERIM Consulting sprl (BE) • Ion Beam Services (FRA) • University of Linkoping (SWE) • University of Warwick (UK) • STMicroelectronics (ITA) • CUSIC (JAP) For further information, please contact: Francesco La Via CHALLENGE coordinator CNR-IMM Strada VIII 5, 95121 Catania, Italy e-mail: tel: +39 0955968229


Electrical and electronic engineering, power devices, silicon carbide, hetero-epitaxy, bulk growth, MOSFET


Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom