Multi-kHz, Ultra-High Voltage Silicon Carbide Thyristors sampled to US Researchers

DULLES, VA, November 1, 2010 –In a first of its kind offering, GeneSiC Semiconductor announces the availability of a family of 6.5kV SCR-mode Silicon Carbide Thyristors for use in power electronics for Smart Grid applications. Revolutionary performance advantages of these power devices are expected to spur key innovations in utility-scale power electronics hardware to increase the accessibility and exploitation of Distributed Energy Resources (DER). “Until now, multi-kV Silicon Carbide (SiC) power devices were not openly available to US researchers to fully exploit the well-known advantages– namely 2-10kHz operating frequencies at 5-15kV ratings – of SiC-based power devices.” commented Dr. Ranbir Singh, President of GeneSiC. “GeneSiC has recently completed delivery of many 6.5kV/40A, 6.5kV/60A and 6.5kV/80A Thyristors to multiple customers conducting research in renewable energy, Army and Naval power system applications. SiC devices with these ratings are now being offered more widely.”

Silicon Carbide based Thyristors offer 10X higher voltage, 100X faster switching frequencies and higher temperature operation as compared to conventional Silicon-based Thyristors. Targeted applications research opportunities for these devices include general purpose medium voltage power conversion (MVDC), Grid-tied solar inverters, wind power inverters, pulsed power, weapon systems, ignition control, and trigger control. It is now well established that ultra-high voltage (>10kV) Silicon Carbide (SiC) device technology will play a revolutionary role in the next-generation utility grid. Thyristor-based SiC devices offer the highest on-state performance for >5 kV devices, and are widely applicable towards medium voltage power conversion circuits like Fault-Current Limiters, AC-DC converters, Static VAR compensators and Series Compensators. SiC based Thyristors also offer the best chance of early adoption due to their similarities to conventional power grid elements. Deploying these advanced power semiconductor technologies could provide as much as a 25-30 percent reduction in electricity consumption through increased efficiencies in delivery of electrical power.

Dr. Singh continues “It is anticipated that large-scale markets in solid-state electrical substations and wind turbine generators will open up after researchers in the power conversion arena will fully realize the benefits of SiC Thyristors. These first generation SiC Thyristors utilize the lowest demonstrated on-state voltage drop and differential on-resistances ever achieved in SiC Thyristors. We intend to release future generations of SiC Thyristors optimized for Gate-controlled Turn Off capability and >10kV ratings. As we continue to develop high temperature ultra-high voltage packaging solutions, the present 6.5kV Thyristors are packaged in modules with fully soldered contacts, limited to 150oC junction temperatures.” GeneSiC is a fast emerging innovator in the area of SiC power devices and has a strong commitment to the development of Silicon Carbide (SiC) based devices for: (a) HV-HF SiC devices for Power Grid, Pulsed power and Directed Energy Weapons; and (b) High temperature SiC power devices for aircraft actuators and oil exploration.

Located near Washington, DC in Dulles, Virginia, GeneSiC Semiconductor Inc. is a leading innovator in high-temperature, high-power and ultra high-voltage silicon carbide (SiC) devices. Current development projects include high-temperature rectifiers, SuperJunction Transistors (SJT) and a wide variety of Thyristor based devices. GeneSiC has or has had prime/sub-contracts from major US Government agencies, including the Department of Energy, Navy, Army, DARPA, and the Department of Homeland Security. The company is currently experiencing substantial growth, and hiring qualified personnel in power-device and detector design, fabrication, and testing. To find out more, please visit