‘Power2Power’ project announces more efficient semiconductors
As part of the now successfully completed European cooperation project ‘Power2Power’, 43 partners from industry and research have jointly developed novel power semiconductors with higher power density and energy efficiency over the past three years. A follow-up project will start in January.
Power2Power was coordinated by Infineon Technologies and has produced significantly improved power semiconductors for high voltages, according to a company statement. The silicon-based IGBT solutions developed by the consortium enable significant reductions in energy consumption, particularly in e-mobility, and energy conversion with efficiencies of more than 98 per cent for converters and powertrains in electric vehicles. Results from the collaborative project have also successfully demonstrated that the lifetime of electric vehicle chargers can be extended by 1.5 times, according to Infineon.
Since power semiconductors are needed not only in the electric car itself but in all phases of energy conversion, the higher efficiencies of the newly developed semiconductors can also lead to improvements in the generation and transmission of electricity, for example, and thus make “a significant contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in spite of rising global energy demand,” as Infineon writes.
The Power2Power project was worth 74 million euros. Funding from Germany was provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the two German states of Saxony and Thuringia. The partners from the other seven countries also received financial support from their national authorities. The European Union funded the collaboration under the ECSEL program (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership). Meanwhile, the new Joint Undertaking Key Digital Technologies (KDT) has taken over the ongoing activities of the ECSEL program.
“Power electronics is one of the most important key industries in Europe and will be of central importance if we in Europe are to achieve our climate goals,” says Yves Gigase, Acting Executive Director of the KDT Joint Undertaking. “In the collaborative Power2Power project, the 43 consortium partners successfully developed novel solutions that will sustainably strengthen the competitiveness of the European microelectronics industry and increase its manufacturing share in the global market. The project made significant improvements in particular in technology, resulting among other things in greater reliability. It also set up a pilot line for the future large series volume production of IGBT chips.”
In the next project, PowerizeD, which starts as early as January, a consortium of 62 partners is working on the digitization of power electronics applications within key technological value chains.