The Last Power project aims to make the EU independent from other developed countries on wide band-gap semiconductors. In particular, the effort focused on high-quality materials, leading-edge equipment, and advanced processing.
This field is of strategic importance since it involves the development of high-efficiency systems, with the potential for high revenue, for applications whenever electric power is needed. This ranges from telecommunication to automotive, from consumer electronics to electrical household appliances, from industrial applications to home automation.
In particular, the consortium targeted European technology, including equipment, processing, and characterization, to address many of the possible applications. The know-how takes advantage of the presence of the most advanced public research centers and reference universities operating on SiC and GaN technologies, large companies that are world leaders, and many SME from six EU countries.
The EU established the target of developing 150-mm 4H-SiC wafers that qualify as “state-of-the-art.” To date, Last Power has fabricated 100-mm wafers. In addition, the consortium considered GaN heteroepitaxy on 150-mm Si wafers.
The consortium consists of:
- STMicroelectronics (Coordinator), Italy
- LPE, Italy
- Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi (IMM), Italy
- Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas - Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser, Greece
- NOVASiC, France
- Consorzio Catania Ricerche, Italy
- Instytut Wysokich Cisnien PAN, Poland
- Università della Calabria, Italy
- SiCrystal AG, Germany
- SEPS Technologies AB, Sweden
- SenSiC AB, Sweden
- Acreo AB, Department Nanoelectronics, Sweden
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Angelo Alberto Messina has worked with STMicroelectronics for 14 years, and is currently with its corporate R&D and public affairs department.