The 7th Annual IEEE / PSMA Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA 2019) took place in Raleigh, North Carolina during October 29-31, 2019. It was held on the campus of North Carolina State University (NCSU) at the Stateview Hotel. The event featured one day of tutorials and two days of technical discussions. It also hosted meetings for the International Technology Roadmap on Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (ITRW) as well as JEDEC's JC-70 committee, which focuses on standardization of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor devices. More than 200 individuals from around the world gathered in Raleigh this year to share their experiences and learn about the latest developments in this field.
WiPDA 2019’s General Chair, Victor Veliadis, provides the welcoming address to over 200 attendees
Both the JC-70 committee and the ITRW working group met on the 29th. According to Dr. Stephanie Watts Butler, chairperson for the JC-70 Committee:Tuesday, October 29th, began with the workshop's five tutorials focusing on the applications of wide bandgap (WBG) devices in solid state circuit breakers, data centers, electric vehicles, and medium voltage converters. A separate presentation discussed the reliability of high voltage GaN devices. Afterwards, attendees were able to tour NCSU's FREEDM Center Power Electronics Laboratory followed by the Opening Reception and the start of the exhibition.
JEDEC's JC-70 Wide Bandgap (WBG) power semiconductor standards committee celebrated its 2nd anniversary at WiPDA 2019. The committee has grown to a membership of 60 companies spanning the globe consisting of power GaN and SiC semiconductor suppliers, users of WBG power semiconductors and [test and measurement (T&M)] equipment manufacturers.
The JC-70 committee met at WiPDA to discuss current status on standards for reliability, testing, and datasheet parametrics. In addition to making progress on crafting documents for these topic areas, the JEDEC committee has also been engaging with standards bodies around the world, such as IEC and JEITA. This engagement demonstrates further growth in the importance and acceptance of SiC and GaN worldwide, and the user community's desire to see consistency in standards worldwide.
The technical dialogues started Wednesday morning with two keynote speeches from Peter Friedrichs of Infineon Technologies and Kevin Anderson of IHS Markit. Friedrichs highlighted the need for optimized magnetics to improve the performance of SiC applications while Anderson talked about packaging as a bottleneck for WBG devices in traction based and wind applications. It was also pointed out that 600 V to 1000 V applications are the emerging battleground for GaN, SiC, and silicon (Si) superjunction power devices.
A panel session was dedicated to the adoption of GaN devices and a second to SiC applications. Reliability was a concern again this year with discussions on the need for vibration and radiation hardeness data. However, it was mentioned that the application and testing times for both GaN and SiC are yielding much more reliable failure-in-time (FIT) data.
Tim McDonald opens WiPDA 2019’s panel sessions along with fellow panelists Alain Charles, Sandeep Bahl, Peter Di Maso, and Robert Kaplar
The Wednesday afternoon session included three more keynote speeches from Laszlo Balogh of Texas Instruments, Sandeep Bala of ABB, and Thomas Harder of the European Center for Power Electronics. This was followed by the first of four rounds of technical sessions, and the poster session. The evening closed with the conference banquet where Cree co-founder John Edmond and his band provided the entertainment for the event.A strongly emphasized point at WiPDA 2019 was the need to consider system level costs. While WBG devices, SiC in particular, are not expected to gain cost parity with Si components in the next couple of years, companies are seeing significant reductions in the corresponding costs of other areas of power electronic systems. For example, John Deere has realized meaningful reductions in DC link capacitor sizes through the application of SiC components in high power motor drives.
Attendees and presenters gather for WiPDA 2019’s poster session
A total of 99 digests were submitted to this year's event. Forty-eight of them were accepted to one of the 12 technical tracks for oral presentations. These included four tracks dedicated to SiC Applications, two to GaN Applications, three to SiC Devices, two to GaN Devices and one track to Thermal and Emerging technologies. A total of 32 papers were presented at the poster session.Thursday morning started with another round of keynote speeches from John Palmour of Wolfspeed, Iqbal Husain from NCSU, and Yuhao Zhang from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. During the first two talks, the need for improvements in packaging, gate drive technology, and magnetics was reiterated along with the focus on system level costs. The third presentation discussed many new developments in vertical GaN technology, their potential impact on power electronics, and prospects for future commercialization. Afterwards, the remaining three technical sessions took place.
John Edmond, co-founder of Cree, and his band provide the entertainment at WiPDA 2019’s banquet
The workshop wants to acknowledge: our Silver Sponsor, PowerAmerica; the Poster Session Sponsor, JEDEC; Kyma Tehnologies, the Lunch Sponsor; Focused Test Inc, the Coffee Break Sponsor; and the Media Partner, How2Power.com. The Technical Sponsors for WiPDA 2019 were the IEEE Power Electronic Society (PELS), the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS), and the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA). The workshop would not have been possible without their commitment, nor that of the nine exhibitors, the Organizing Committee, and the Technical Program Committee as well as the paper reviewers and the student volunteers. WiPDA 2019 is very grateful to its many financial sponsors, exhibitors, and its group of dedicated volunteers. The workshop enjoys continued support from our two Platinum Sponsors, Infineon and Wolfspeed. Their sustained endorsements have established WiPDA as a premier event for the WBG community. WiPDA is also happy to welcome Applied Materials as its third Platinum Sponsor for the 2019 event.
Next fall, WiPDA 2020 heads to Los Angeles, CA, where Infineon Technologies will host the event. Until then, have a happy holiday season and great New Year!
Provided by Mark Scott,
WiPDA 2019 Publicity Chair