Federal Grant Will Help Grow PowerAmerica

The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) has been awarded a two-year, $1 million federal grant to help cultivate the growth of the PowerAmerica Institute.

The grant, awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will enable NCMEP to work with PowerAmerica and its expanding network of project partners to grow the wide bandgap semiconductor technology sector, accelerate the production of valuable goods and services and develop industry-led skills strategies.

Embedding a highly-trained engineer within PowerAmerica will be one of the first items of business under the grant. In addition to serving as a valuable technical resource, the engineer will lead outreach and project development nationally to small- and medium-sized manufacturers in market sectors, like renewable energy and innovative transport systems, where WBG semiconductors could have the most impact.

“We are excited to work more closely with PowerAmerica in order to ensure that the development of this new technology includes our nation’s smaller manufacturers.  With this work, we will also learn more about the other Manufacturing USA institutes and how they can benefit our NC manufacturers,” says NCMEP Director Phil Mintz.

By the close of 2018, Mintz says that he expects to see development of many advanced manufacturing projects between PowerAmerica and small to medium-sized enterprises across the U.S.

Read the full news release here.

PowerAmerica Researcher Dr. Iqbal Husain Featured for Work with SiC EV Inverter

Iqbal_HusainIASN.C. State University is highlighting its own PowerAmerica-funded researcher Dr. Iqbal Husain for his work to design a smaller, more efficient electric vehicle inverter using off-the-shelf wide bandgap silicon carbide components. Read the full article here.

A paper on the new inverter, “Design Methodology for a Planarized High Power Density EV/HEV Traction Drive using SiC Power Modules,” will be presented at the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), being held Sept. 18-22 in Milwaukee.

PowerAmerica Now Part of Manufacturing USA

The National Network of Manufacturing Innovation – of which PowerAmerica is a part – has a new name and brand: Manufacturing USA.

The announcement was made by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker at the annual International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago on Sept. 12. Read the full press release here.

Manufacturing USA consists of nine public-private institutes dedicated to securing the nation’s future through manufacturing innovation, education, and collaboration.

Watch a video about Manufacturing USA below.

PowerAmerica Issues Call for Projects

PowerAmerica released its annual Call for Projects on Sept. 8. The Institute is seeking to fund TRL>4 projects from both industry and academia for a broad range of power electronics applications, including SiC and GaN device and module production and systems incorporating such devices and modules, as well as education and workforce development.

Find more information and view the Call for Projects here.

Join Us for PowerAmerica’s Monthly Technical Webinar Series Wednesday, Sept. 7

Dr. Iqbal Husain and Dr. Srdjan Lukic of N.C. State University will speak about their work to design and build an electric vehicle traction drive and a fast charger using commercially available wide bandgap semiconductor devices during PowerAmerica’s monthly technical webinar series from noon to 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Husain will give a technical presentation titled, “100 kW SiC Inverter for EV Traction Drive,” while Lukic’s talk is titled, “WBG Medium Voltage EV Fast Charger.”


Iqbal_HusainIASDr. Husain is the director of the FREEDM NSF Engineering Center, the ABB Distinguished Professor in the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and the director of the Advanced Transportation Energy Center at N.C. State University in Raleigh. His work has focused extensively on electric and hybrid vehicles. View Dr. Husain’s full biography here.


Author_Lukic (1)Dr. Lukic is an associate professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at N.C. State University. His research interests include design and control of power electronic converters and electromagnetic energy conversion with application to wireless power transfer, energy storage systems, and electric automotive systems. View Dr. Lukic’s full biography here.


Abstract (Husain): 100 kW SiC Inverter for EV Traction Drive

Abstract (Lukic): WBG Medium Voltage EV Fast Charger


Access Information:

Click Link to Join

Meeting Number

994 006 305

No password required

Audio Connection

919-513-9329 (WolfMeeting)

Access Code: 994 006 305

Member Spotlight: USCi

USCi Logo cropped


“PowerAmerica is very well-aligned with USCi’s business model of using SiC Foundry services, with targeted equipment investments, to develop cutting-edge SiC products. We firmly believe this is the most capital efficient, cost-effective and rapidly scalable manufacturing model for SiC products. PowerAmerica has helped USCi and XFAB make this successful at the six-inch level with its financial and overall support.” -USCi


Company Background

USCi, located in Monmouth Junction, NJ, manufactures and globally distributes best-in-class SiC Transistors, diodes, and custom silicon carbide devices, including Schottky diodes, SiC JFETs and SiC cascodes.

USCi technology and products enable affordable power efficiency in key markets that drive a new and greener economy. Applications include wind and solar power generation, electrification of transportation such as automobiles and next generation trains, emerging smart grid technologies, higher efficiency power generation and conversion and motor control. 

PowerAmerica Partnership

In partnership with PowerAmerica, USCi is developing and qualifying SiC Schottky diodes 650V-1200V at XFab’s 6-inch SiC foundry by transferring USCi’s high performance 4-inch processes. Additionally, USCi is developing 1200V SiC MOSFETs in the SiC foundry. Production release for both products is planned for early 2017. 

USCi expertise can benefit members in many ways such as:

  • Providing access to class leading Schottky Diodes
  • Partnering in supplying automotive qualified die to module customers
  • Providing access to the lowest resistance switch technologies in the industry
  • Designing custom current and voltage rated power devices up to 10kV

Initiatives in Wide Bandgap Power Electronics:

USCi lead the SiC Foundry business model beginning in 2010 by installing Diode and Transistor Processes at the 100mm node.  USCi’s Transistor and Schottky Diode products utilize state of the art cell technology combined with patent protected thin wafer technology to manufacture the highest performance devices in the industry.  USCi has also developed unique Transistor Technology that can utilize a standard Si IGBT or MOSFET gate drive for drop in and replace ease of use, or may be alternatively dual sourced into SiC MOSFET designs.  

Engage with us:

United Silicon Carbide




Join Us for PowerAmerica’s Monthly Technical Webinar Series Wednesday, Aug. 17

Dr. Fred C Lee; Virginia Tech

Dr. Fred Lee of Virginia Tech will speak about his work with GaN power technologies during PowerAmerica’s monthly webinar series from noon to 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 17. He will give two technical presentations: “High-Density High-Efficiency Adapter” and “High Frequency GaN Converters for Distributed Power Systems.”

Dr. Lee, a University Distinguished Professor at VT and the founder and director of the NSF ERC Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), is leading a research team that is developing a smaller, more efficient laptop adapter deemed a “game-changing device,” and is additionally working with high frequency GaN converters for distributed power systems. View Dr. Lee’s Full Biography here.

Abstract: High-Density High-Efficiency Adapter 
Abstract: High Frequency GaN Converters for Distributed Power Systems 

Access Information:
Click Link to Join
Meeting Number
991 923 673
No password required
Audio Connection
919-513-9329 (WolfMeeting)
Access Code: 991 923 673

Funding Opportunity for SiC & GaN

PowerAmerica is seeking public input on initiatives to accelerate the large-scale adoption of silicon carbide and gallium nitride technology in power electronic systems in a wide range of industries.

Responses are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29.

The information collected will assist PowerAmerica in developing a specific request for project proposals from industry for possible funding.

The full Request for Information can be found here.

Please complete the form found here to provide PowerAmerica with your comments.

PowerAmerica Offers Teachers Hands-On Education in Power

PowerAmerica hosted more than 20 high school teachers and community college instructors from across North Carolina for an intensive two-day workshop July 18-19 on applying power electronics concepts in the classroom.

IMG_4010The group participated in a variety of hands-on activities designed to increase their understanding of the role of power, and specifically wide bandgap semiconductors. In addition to constructing their own robots and devices powered by wide bandgap technology, they visited the various lab projects in the FREEDM Engineering Systems Center at N.C. State, toured the nearby facilities of global power technology company ABB, and took a trip to the N.C. State solar farm. IMG_4010

The teachers recounted several takeaways from the workshop. Amiee Riley, a teacher at Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, was surprised to learn that “half the engineering workforce is set to retire in five years…I also thought it was interesting that the starting salary with a two-year degree in power electronics can be as much as $60,000. Those are some great, different higher education options to share with my students.”


Added Billie Adeimy, an instructor at Richmond Community College in Hamlet, North Carolina: “As instructors, we sometimes get alienated from the real world in the classroom. So it’s great to attend something like that and receive real world, industry knowledge to take back with us.”


For more about PowerAmerica’s Education and Workforce Development initiatives, visit the website.

Member Spotlight: Wolfspeed, a Cree Company

Wolfspeed Logo

“Through PowerAmerica, we get close interaction with potential users and customers of our products which gives us the opportunity to understand their needs and narrow our focus. The Institute is also playing a critical role in training young and existing engineers on SiC and GaN technologies; truly capitalizing on the opportunity we have here to build a strong power electronics community that will revolutionize U.S. manufacturing.”

– David Grider, PhD, Wolfspeed Power Electronics Program Manager


 Company Background

Wolfspeed has spent more than 28 years as part of Cree Inc., building market-leading wide bandgap semiconductor products for the transportation, industrial, energy, and communications markets before announcing it would spin-off into its own company in an IPO. From its young and ambitious roots in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, Wolfspeed has grown into the world’s leading innovator and manufacturer of SiC and GaN wide bandgap semiconductors for Power and RF applications that enable increased efficiency, higher switching speed, as well as reduced system size and weight.

Wolfspeed has the world’s largest SiC and GaN wide bandgap semiconductor Power and RF fabrication facility, with $124 million in revenue in FY 2015. With the acquisition of Fayetteville, Arkansas-based Arkansas Power Electronics (APEI) in 2015, the company added a packaging and power modules capability to its SiC power electronics portfolio.

PowerAmerica Partnership

Wolfspeed, a Cree company, is working to establish the reliability of its medium-voltage (3.3kV to 10kV) SiC power device technology – a costly and time-consuming process that is also critical for commercial production of these medium voltage SiC power devices. PowerAmerica funding is helping to accelerate this reliability testing in order to hasten the introduction of these medium-voltage SiC power products into the commercial marketplace for a wide range of transportation, motor drive, power distribution, and grid-tied power electronics applications.

Wolfspeed expertise can benefit members in many ways such as:

  • Providing access to a broad voltage and power range (900V to 10kV) of SiC power devices and power modules, including both die and packaged SiC devices, in order to advance the SiC power electronics industry.
  • Providing application support for 900V to 10kV SiC power devices and power modules in order to accelerate the application of SiC power technology in a broad range of power electronics applications.


Initiatives in Wide Bandgap Power Electronics:

  • Wolfspeed, a Cree company, has repeatedly demonstrated its position as a market leader in the development and commercialization of SiC power technology by achieving a number of critical milestones:
    • 2002 – Released our first 600V SiC JBS Schottky Diode
    • 2006 – Released industry’s first 1200V SiC JBS Schottky Diode
    • 2010 – Released industry’s first 1700V SiC JBS Schottky Diode
    • 2011 – Released industry’s first 1200V SiC MOSFET
    • 2012 – Introduced our first 1200V SiC half-bridge power module
    • 2014 – Introduced industry’s first 1200V, 25mOhm SiC MOSFET
    • 2015 – Acquired Arkansas Power Electronics International (APEI) for
      advanced SiC power modules and packaging
    • 2015 – Exceeded two trillion hours of field operation for our
      SiC power products
    • 2015 – Introduced industry’s first 900V SiC MOSFET


  • Wolfspeed is continuing the development and commercialization of advanced 900V to 1700V SiC MOSFET and 600V to 1700V SiC Schottky diode devices as well as 900V to 1700V SiC power modules


  • Wolfspeed is continuing the development and commercialization of advanced 3.3kV to 10kV SiC MOSFET and 3.3kV to 10kV SiC Schottky diode devices as well as 3.3kV to 10kV SiC power modules


Engage with us:

  • To learn more about Wolfspeed, a Cree company, and our broad range of SiC and GaN wide bandgap Power and RF products please visit:
  • For further information on advanced SiC power products, PowerAmerica members can contact David Grider at grider@wolfspeed.com or call him at (919) 407-5345.