Qorvo snaps UnitedSiC in SiC semiconductor gold rush

Article By : Majeed Ahmad

Qorvo acquiring UnitedSiC once more underscores the critical importance of silicon carbide technology in power electronic domains.

Merely days after the news of onsemi completing the acquisition of GT Advanced Technologies, another supplier of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors is up for grabs. Qorvo has snapped United Silicon Carbide (UnitedSiC), which once more underscores the critical importance of SiC technology. UnitedSiC’s CEO Chris Dries, who will lead Qorvo’s Power Device Solutions division after the acquisition is complete, calls it a terrific time for the up-and-coming wide bandgap semiconductor technology.

UnitedSiC, a fabless semiconductor firm based in Princeton, New Jersey, develops SiC-based FET and diode power semiconductors that cater to chargers, DC-DC converters and traction drives in electric vehicles (EVs), telecom/server power supplies, variable speed motor drives, and solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters. UnitedSiC’s acquisition is yet another reminder that SiC semiconductors are gaining traction and penetrating in various applications.

Figure 1 UnitedSiC’s 750 V FET comes in 13 RDS(ON) combinations: Source: Qorvo

In EVs, carmakers are deploying SiC discrete devices and modules in inverters, onboard chargers (OBCs) and DC/DC converters for SiC technology’s greater efficiency and lower losses at higher frequencies than silicon IGBTs. Besides EVs, Qorvo plans to aim UnitedSiC’s FETs, JFETs and Schottky diodes at industrial power, circuit protection, renewables, and data center power.

Figure 2 UnitedSiC’s FET-Jet Calculator helps engineers find the right SiC FET for their power designs. Source: Qorvo

Here, it’s worth noting that Qorvo is one of the major suppliers of gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors. So Qorvo vying for GaN’s wide bandgap cousin sends a clear message: the power semiconductor industry is acknowledging SiC technology as a commercial reality.

Qorvo is planning to integrate the UnitedSiC operations into its Infrastructure & Defense Products (IDP) business.

This article was originally published on Planet Analog.

Majeed Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of EDN and Planet Analog, has covered the electronics design industry for more than two decades.

 

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