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The 6th Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA 2018)

O ver two hundred people from around the world participated in the 2018 IEEE / PSMA Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA 2018).  This year's event was held from October 31 to November 2 on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.  The highlights included: seven tutorials; a meeting of JEDEC's newest committee, JC-70; a workshop for the International Technology Roadmap on Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (ITRW); and two days of technical discussions.

A major theme of WiPDA 2018 was the reliability of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power devices.  One tutorial and a keynotes address focused exclusively on this topic. Many others presenters also included it amongst their talks.  Both panel sessions addressed this issue; one covering SiC components and the other GaN devices.  Additionally, two technical sessions explored reliability as well as some of the poster presentations.

The reliability theme also included participation from JEDEC.  According to Dr. Stephanie Watts Butler, chairperson for the JC-70 Committee:

JEDEC's JC-70 Wide Bandgap (WBG) power semiconductor standards committee celebrated its first anniversary at WiPDA 2018.   The committee has more than doubled in size since its inaugural meeting at WiPDA 2017 with more than 50 member companies including industry leaders in power GaN and SiC semiconductors as well as prospective users of WBG power semiconductors and T&M equipment manufacturers.   Global multinational corporations and technology startups from the US, Europe, and Asia are working together to bring to the industry WBG standards for reliability, testing, and datasheet parametrics.   Guidelines for testing power GaN devices has completed the first major milestone toward becoming a JEDEC publication, and has begun the next step toward being issued by JEDEC.

The ITRW workshop focused on implementing SiC devices in power electronics.  Dr. Victor Veliadis provided an overview of large volume SiC applications.  The utilization of SiC power devices in China's electrical grid was discussed by Dr. Chaobo Dai.  Dr. Kamiar Karimi talked about the benefits of SiC devices for aircraft.  A presentation on using SiC MOSFETs in the Japanese railway system was also given by Dr. Takeshi Oi.

Kijeong Han of North Carolina State University delivers his talk on
short circuit failure mechanisms during the SiC Device Fabrication
Workshop attendees listen to a presentation during the technical sessions

The 2018 tutorials covered semiconductor technology for GaN, SiC, and ultra-wide bandgap devices.  It included material that focused on fabrication as well as application of these components. Eight keynote speakers and two panel sessions were held with equal emphasis on emerging developments in GaN and SiC.  A total of 44 papers were presented across 11 technical sessions.  Additionally, 11 poster presentations occurred during the evening reception.

WiPDA 2018 attendees listen to the keynote speakers in the
main ballroom of the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.

The success of WiPDA 2018 was due to the financial support of its sponsors and the dedication of many volunteers.  We would like thank our two Platinum Sponsors, Infineon and Wolfspeed, for their generous contributions towards making such a strong program.  We would also like to acknowledge our Gold Sponsors, Silvaco and Semiprobe; our Tutorial Sponsor, PowerAmerica; our Silver Sponsor, InnoCit; our Media Partner,; and the seven exhibitors that showcased alongside our sponsors.  Furthermore, the workshop would not be possible without the commitment of its Technical Sponsors, Organizing Committee, and Technical Program Committee as well as the paper reviewers and the student volunteers. 

Next fall, WiPDA 2019 heads to Raleigh, NC where North Carolina State University and PowerAmerica will host the Workshop.  Until then, have a happy holiday season and safe new year.

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