Semikron qualifies Rohm’s fourth generation SiC power chips

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Semikron in Germany has qualified the fourth generation silicon carbide (SiC) technology from Rohm Semiconductor for its automotive eMPack modules.

Semikron has a billion euro contract to supply the eMPack power modules to a major German car maker, beginning in 2025. This is a fully sintered assembly and connection technology ‘Direct Pressed Die’ (DPD) that enables extremely compact, scalable and reliable traction inverters.

Semikron has already signed a deal with STMicroelectronics to supply SiC devices for the eMPack modules and ST also sources SiC wafers from Rohm subsidiary SiCrystal (see below). The Semikron deal is also key to ST’s new SIC fab in Catania, Italy.

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The eMPack module technology has been specially designed for SiC-based converters of medium and high power in order to fully exploit the properties of silicon carbide. Semikron also provides evaluation boards for eMPack that incorporate Rohm’s gate driver ICs, helping customers shorten the time required for evaluation and adoption. In the future, Semikron also plans to use Rohm’s IGBTs in modules for industrial applications.

“Thanks to Rohm’s SiC technology, Semikron’s eMPack-family of power modules is ready to make a significant contribution to reducing emissions through e-mobility,” said Karl-Heinz Gaubatz, CEO and CTO at Semikron. “Rohm’s SiC technology provides more efficiency, performance and reliability in automotive and also industrial applications.”

SiCrystal SiC substrates

Rohm produces SiC components in-house in a vertically integrated manufacturing system and thus delivers high quality, energy-saving products while achieving a constant market supply. Rohm’s production subsidiary SiCrystal, located near Semikron in Nuremberg, Germany, plans to grow its silicon carbide wafer capacities to produce several 100,000 substrates a year.

“We are glad that Semikron has selected Rohm as SiC supplier for the automotive qualified eMPack. This partnership leads to a competitive solution for inverter application use inside electrical vehicles,” said Isao Matsumoto, President and CEO of Rohm. “Rohm offers a broad portfolio of SiC devices – from chips to packages. As the demand for SiC will continue to grow, Rohm will accelerate further investment and product development based on the technology we have cultivated as a leading SiC manufacturer. In addition, our company will continue to propose solutions and deliver customer support,” aid Isao Matsumoto.

The 4th generation SiC MOSFETs reduce the on resistance and improve the short-circuit withstand time. These characteristics contribute significantly to extend the driving length and miniaturize the batteries of EVs when they are used in traction inverters.;

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