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The next-generation silicon-based power solutions in mobility, industry and grid for sustainable decarbonisation in the next decade.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Power2Power (The next-generation silicon-based power solutions in mobility, industry and grid for sustainable decarbonisation in the next decade.)

Reporting period: 2020-06-01 to 2021-05-31

The next-generation of silicon-based high-power solutions in mobility, industry and grid for sustainable decarbonization in the next decade

The ECS industry is constantly moving motivated by a knowledge driven global challenge, dealing with exceptionally complex systems but also complex components and manufacturing processes. The objectives in Power2Power aim to foster a holistic, digitized pilot line approach by accelerating the transition of ideas to innovations in the Power Electronic Components and Systems domain. In the course of this project, the international leadership of the European industry in this segment will be strengthened by means of a digitized pilot line approach along the supply chain located entirely in Europe; working together with multiple organizations, combining different disciplines and knowledge areas in the heterogeneous power-ECS environment. Only these comprehensive efforts will allow to reach a high-volume production of smart power electronics to change the market towards energy-efficient applications to meet the carbon dioxide reduction goals of the European Union (European Commission, 2018). Consequently, economic growth and tackling grand societal challenges “Energy” and “Mobility” lead to safeguarding meaningful jobs for European citizens.
As energy is limited on our planet! To utilize carefully the scarce resources is of utmost importance. In this context, smart energy utilization with highly efficient power semiconductor-based electronics is one key element herein. Energy generation, energy conversion and smart actors are these application domains where advanced high-voltage power semiconductor components primarily impact the path toward winning innovations. Advanced high voltage power semiconductor components are used wherever electrical power is generated, transmitted or used by the consumers and industry.
Silicon-based power solutions are well known since decades, however, the demand for highest energy efficiencies are growing. Based on new materials, like GaN and SiC, highest efficiencies have been shown recently, and production of those devices has started and will grow. However, Silicon-based power solutions will outperform new materials (SiC, GaN) for many more years in terms of cost-to-performance-ratio and reliability. Thus, the Silicon-based power solutions will keep innovating and growing the upcoming years. As it was recently reported: For both, standard IGBT modules, and discrete modules, the current market growth is 14.5% and 15.3%, respectively (IHS Markit, Technology Group, “Power Semiconductor Market Share Database 2017”, August 2018).
Power2Power will enable innovations and create opportunities from possible disruptions by providing cost-effective high-power electronics components. The work within the project is structured in work packages along the value chain. Beginning with basic technology innovations for high-voltage IGBTs based on new silicon substrate materials and process concepts and also new technologies for driver circuits. The main effort of the project is put into large pilot lines for front-end technologies and assembly and packaging production of IGBT chips and modules, respectively. A coherent chip-package-module/system approach will lead to design and fabricate the best compact devices and subsystems. In order to gain highest competitiveness, an extra work package on enhancing digitalization, automation and logistics is accompanied. The usability of modern IGBTs is demonstrated in this project with ten applications from three application domains: The primary application focus is on energy efficiency in mobility and heavy industrial loads. Moreover, the project addresses aspects of distributing electrical energy (“grid”), because of the drastic rise of renewable energies and challenges caused by feeding this inconstant energy sources to the grid. Because of robustness and reliability being very important for these applications, because of all day round usage, finally a work package for enhanced reliability and robustness will be performed.
The key objective of ECSEL is to “Ensure the availability of ECS “Made in Europe” for key markets and for addressing societal challenges, aiming at keeping Europe at the forefront of the technology development, bridging the gap between research and exploitation, strengthening innovation capabilities and creating economic and employment growth in the Union”. On a long run, the project Power2Power will significantly impact the path to the industrial ambition of value creation by digitizing manufacturing and development in Europe. It fully supports this vision by addressing key topics of both pillars “Key Applications” and “Essential Capabilities”. By positioning Power2Power as innovation action, a clear focus on exploitation of the expected result is a primary goal.
Power2Power is structured specifically to represent the value chain of power semiconductors all over Europe. This allows the partners to analyze, evaluate and define the specifications for their specific field and meeting the requirements of their specific value chain, just by close interaction within Power2Power.

The activities in work package 1 (WP1) aimed at building the basis for the advanced IGBT technologies ≥1700 V by analyzing first data sets and samples for the novel technology aspects. The work spanned from substrate materials over IGBT technology to isolated gate driver systems.

In WP2, the first trial runs were started in the pilot lines and the necessary next steps were defined for the final period.

The focus in WP3 was on advanced interconnect and packaging materials and their fabrication in a fast and flexible sample lab and backend pilot lines. Here, the major focus was on the implementation in the pilot lines and assessing the reliability.

In the second project year in WP4, the work led to first versions of functional demonstrators, which will be further developed in the final period.

The partners in WP5 aimed for demonstrating the broad applicability of silicon-based high-voltage and high-power IGBTs in application fields, renewable energy, mobility and grid. In the second year, the work’s focus was mainly on starting to build the demonstrators.

In WP6, an intense exchange of samples and data led to first mechanisms and methods to improve reliability and robustness of the technologies developed in Power2Power.

Dissemination was an important goal of WP7 in the second project year. Here, informing the public about the project start and enabling the partners to publish in journals and on conferences were the main focus.

With the important developments in the second project year, the partners were actively developing the technologies beyond the state of the art.
Visual and logo of the Power2Power project