Cree and ABB’s Power Grids business have announced a partnership to jointly expand the rollout of silicon carbide in the rapidly-growing high-power semiconductor market.
The agreement incorporates the use of Cree’s Wolfspeed silicon carbide-based semiconductors into ABB’s comprehensive product portfolio, enabling Cree to broaden its customer base while accelerating ABB’s entry into the fast-expanding EV sector.
Cree’s products will be included as part of ABB’s power semiconductor product portfolio, across power grids, train and traction, industrial and e-mobility sectors. Specifically, Cree’s industry-leading silicon carbide devices will be assembled into ABB power modules.
“Cree is committed to leading the global semiconductor market’s transition to more energy efficient, higher performing silicon carbide-based solutions. ABB has a longstanding heritage as the world market leader in industrial power electrification solutions, so expanding our work with them will help increase the adoption of transformative and eco-friendly alternatives in the power and automotive sectors,” said Cree CEO Gregg Lowe. “Together, this partnership delivers Wolfspeed silicon carbide into new markets, such as power grids and high-speed trains for the continued advancement of the power, traction, industrial and EV markets.”
“The partnership with Cree supports ABB’s strategy in developing energy-efficient silicon carbide semiconductors in the automotive and industrial sectors,” said Rainer Käsmaier, managing director of Semiconductors at ABB’s Power Grids business. “It emphasises ABB’s commitment to continuous technological innovation to shape the future of a smarter and greener society.”
Compared to a silicon-based semiconductor, a silicon carbide semiconductor delivers a significant reduction in switching losses and permits far higher switching frequencies. This means that energy can be converted with more than 99 percent efficiency, significantly decreasing energy loss and playing a major role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
This advanced technology enables future utilisation of silicon carbide modules in traction inverters for trains, HVDC for power transmission and distribution, solar and wind inverters, energy storage, and transformers. For the EV market, this means longer driving distances and faster charging times using the same size battery.