Japanese leading companies including Panasonic and Japanese leading universities including Osaka University will jointly develop a mass production technology of energy-saving power semiconductors with the support of the government. Utilizing the technology to generate gallium nitride crystals developed by Osaka University, the project aims to strengthen Japan’s competitive edge in the power semiconductor where Japan currently has 60% share.
The maximum diameter of a wafer is 4.5 inches at the present stage, and the project plans to increase the diameter to 6.0 inches in two years under the initiative of Hitachi Metals. A power semiconductor larger than 6.0 inches in diameter will realize efficient production and lower production cost. In addition, it will reduce energy loss incurred in the exchange from alternate current to direct current to less than 6% of the present level. The technology involved in the development of gallium nitride can be applied to LED. The government estimates that spreading power semiconductors will make it possible to reduce power consumption corresponding to that of 8 million households. It has allocated about 1,400 million yen for the project for 2015 and will continue to fund it in 2016.
The highly efficient SIC power semiconductor
released by Toyota on May 20, 2014