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Wide band gap Innovative SiC for Advanced Power

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - WInSiC4AP (Wide band gap Innovative SiC for Advanced Power)

Berichtszeitraum: 2019-06-01 bis 2021-03-31

WInSiC4AP core objective is to contribute in developing reliable technology bricks for efficient and cost-effective applications addressing social challenges and market segments where Europe is a recognized global leader as well as automotive, avionics, railway and defence.
As far as the challenges, in relation to the 2016 MASP, the project addresses the two Key Applications (Smart Mobility and Smart Energy) and the Essential Capability (Semicon Process Equipments Materials) with an approach relied on the strength of “vertical integration” that allows optimization, allows to fit the technologies specifications to the requirements of the applications, and allows the use the full ecosystem.
The above has the aim to enhance the competitiveness of EU- Industries (as well as TIER1 and TIER2) and the value chain in a market context where other countries today, such as the USA or Japan, are advancing and new players are accessing to the SiC market.
New topologies and architecture will be developed, in the project, for targeted application simulating operational environment, at laboratory level, driving the needed and still missed technologies, components and demonstrators to fill the gap between current state of the art and the very high demanding specifications.
In terms of results “to the market” the Project aims to develop reliable technology bricks for efficient and cost-effective applications addressing the above social challenges and market segments where Europe is a recognized global leader as well as automotive, avionics, railway and defence.
Therefore, the project works on group of demonstrators that are:
• DCDC Converters for Automotive with half volume and weight of magnetic components, switching frequencies increased from 25 to 150-200Khz, and target efficiencies up to 96%
• Intelligent Power Switches and Inverter for avionics featuring higher operating temperatures Increase the internal operational temperature range to 85°C (today limited @ 40°C) and switching frequencies >15kHz (in comparison with the actual limit of about 10kHz)
• Compact portable charger for electric vehicles featuring efficiency>93-95% at a 10% less volume/weight in comparison with Si-based actual chargers
• Avionic demonstrators
Moreover, the WInSiC4AP project is one of the first examples of the technical and scientific integration of two financial mechanisms, one is European (with funds from the ECSEL JU programme) and the other all-Italian with the FESR funds from the Italian Ministry of Education and Universities.
The approach taken to the project is also innovative as regarding the strong emphasis on the value chain, at the European level, through the close collaboration in the project between manufacturers, end users, laboratories and research bodies. A keyword that walk with the project is “stay together”. The WPs leadership was well distributed among RTO, companies that provide components, and final users.
At the first (highest) view of the work carried out in this M1-M12 period, it is firstly important to underline the area on which the activities have been predominantly directed.The activities were mainly focused on the deepening of the "requirements" and the "definition of specifications", two essential steps for the next research periods.
For the above, the work performed in this M1-M12 period may be identified in three conceptual areas: Project management/coordination, research activities in order to perform the scheduled activities in the period, first dissemination/communication activities.
In the first area, the activities dealt with the appropriate policies and rules for the coordination of all the partners, for monitoring the performing of the action, for having a whole end-to-end governance of the project. The effort was devoted to the implementation of the necessary project management tools and structures in accordance with the governance model described in the relevant Section 3.2 of the Annex.
The tools implemented were the Project Management Handbook, the web site and a collaborative platform under dropbox system. The structures implemented are: Executive Board, General Assembly, Project Technical Committee, National Coordination Committee, ESI Partner Committee.
Also, at the beginning of the project also a Kick-Off meeting was held (on June 27, 2017), in Brussels, as per the project starts formally on June the 1st, 2017.
For the “second area”, the main objectives were the design specification and other requirements for each demonstrator. All task leaders have validated the initial actions and discuss about their link with each component requirements (Power module/ DC link capacitors / Power Inductors / Power Transformers / Driver circuit / EMC components). All of these information have been summarised in an excel file with main characteristics of power switches in order to have an overview of each product needs.
So, at the end of this first period we can showcase the following “First year progresses” of the actions:
Demonstrator specification already defined
- Intelligent Power Switch (IPS-RA)
- Intelligent Power Switch (IPS-AA)
- Inverter for Avionics Applications
- LiPo Interface for Aerospace
- Engine Controller-Inverter for Aerospace
- Early release of MOSFET SiC 1200V
- Mechatronic design of a 3D power module

In the third area we worked on W12/WP13, focusing on some preliminary dissemination activities and several actions have been put in place for that. Also, a common strategy for exploitation of the project results was preliminarily defined during this first period.
The following presents the effort done on last 3 years by Japan competitors (Mitsubishi Electric) on Full Sic or Hybrid Power Modules in 600-3300V class:
• the third generation of 1200V class power modules, planned in 2018, uses an advanced trench structure (similar as used by ST-I). This new structure permits to improve the Ron (mOhm.cm²) of power switch
• samples @ TRL7, of 300A SiC MOSFET Intelligent power switch 1,2 kV, including current sensor and temperature sensor, in monolithic form, are available since 2017
• since 2017, SIC MOSFET Intelligent Power modules 1,2kV / 400A including short-circuit protection pre-drivers are available.

Also CNM in Barcelona (Spain) was design in 2014 a SiC MOSFET monolithically including current and temperature sensors, in 2018 Mitsubishi Electric has announced 6,5 kV Sic MOSFET dies including Schottky Barrier Diodes to decrease the switching losses.
This year Infineon was announced bipolar IGBT intelligent power modules including current and temperature sensors, and driver protections as well; in terms of power modules packaging, is necessary to highlight the effort done by the EU in the frame of the project Roll2Rail (2016), to create standards packaging.

For the above, in terms of progress beyond the state of the art and expected results until the end of the project we can expect several improvements after WInSiC4AP, like:
1.Monolithic MOSFET SiC Power Switch Die including current sensor & temperature sensor embedded, to improve the performances of IPS
2.Increase the SiC MOSFET Breakdown voltage, to 3.3 kV to implement IPS for Railway & Avionics applications
3.New technologies for IPM integration: planar links, sintering @ subset level, …
4.Establish a European foundry for Small series of FullSiC HV IPS.
Project state of art at second year