EPFL to host UltimateGaN European Consortium's first meeting
From 23-25 October, EPFL will host the first meeting of the European Consortium UltimateGaN, launched in May. This research project gathers 26 partners -including EPFL- from nine countries. Its funding of 48 million euros makes it one of the largest European research projects. The objective is to conduct research on the next generation of energy-saving chips based on the new semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN).
Digitalisation and its underlying key technologies are an essential part of the answers to many of today’s daunting challenges. Information highways and data centres are the “backbone” of the entire digitalisation and electrical Energy is the essential resource powering them (about 900 TWh were published for the “Internet” demand of 2012). Because of the increasing demand for data -traffic, -storage and –processing (average yearly increase of about 7%), higher energy efficiency of the energy management “backbone” is mandatory. These efficiency gains are also of a high value for energy conversion for renewables and mobility.
Whenever silicon-based semiconductors devices reach their limits, Gallium Nitride (GaN) based power semiconductors are promising candidates, enabling much higher switching frequencies together with highest energy conversion efficiencies.
Launched in May 2019, the European research project UltimateGaN (research for GaN technologies, devices and applications to address the challenges of the
futureGaN roadmap) gathers 26 partners - including EPFL - from nine countries, who will conduct research on the next generation of energy-saving chips based on the new semiconductor material gallium nitride (GaN). Its volume of 48 million euros makes UltimateGaN one of the largest European research projects. From 23-25 October, EPFL will host the very first meeting of the Consortium, gathering all the different partners.
UltimateGaN – smaller, energy-efficient chips at marketable costs
The objective of this research program is to make Gallium Nitride (GaN) based power semiconductors available for a wide variety of applications at globally competitive cost levels. This also means the project will make an important contribution to increasing energy efficiency and decreasing CO2.
At EPFL, the POWERLab is responsible for the development of advanced lateral device concepts. In order to prepare the roadmap beyond the next industrial power HEMT generation with respect to performance and cost, prototypes of promising alternative lateral HEMT concepts will be realized. The potential of such alternative approaches, such as the Tri-gate HEMTs developed by the POWERlab, to drastically increase the device breakdown voltage for devices with small gate-to-drain distances, resulting in a significant improvement on RonxA figure-of-merits has been shown recently in lab scale devices. Compared to currently available industry scale normally-off p-GaN HEMTs, a 3-times RonxAA improvement is predicted for 600V normally-off Tri-gate HEMTs. The first objective within this project is to realize prototypes of tri-gate power HEMTs, and other devices based on these concepts, and to bring them to the next level of maturity addressing normally-off operation, dynamic Ron behaviour, and reliability. Another goal is to further improve RonxA figure-of-merit by even more advanced Tri-gate or other nanostructured HEMT concepts with the goal of reaching to the GaN material’s limits.
More information about the consortium : http://www.ultimategan.eu/