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Victor Veliadis

Executive Director & CTO, PowerAmerica, USA

Professor, ECE Department NC State University, USA

 

Bio: Dr. Victor Veliadis is Executive Director & CTO of PowerAmerica, a member-driven consortium of industry, universities, and national labs accelerating the commercialization of energy efficient silicon carbide and gallium nitride power semiconductor chips and electronics. At PowerAmerica, he has managed a budget of $156 million that he strategically allocated to over 210 industrial and University projects to catalyze SiC and GaN semiconductor and power electronics manufacturing, workforce development, and job creation. His PowerAmerica educational activities have trained 430 full-time students in collaborative industry/University WBG projects, and engaged over 7000 attendees in tutorials, short courses, and webinars. Dr. Veliadis is currently negotiating a $64M U.S. Department of Energy PowerAmerica renewal to further catalyze WBG power technologies. Dr. Veliadis is an ECE Professor at NC State, and an IEEE Fellow and EDS Distinguished Lecturer. He has 27 issued U.S. patents, 6 book chapters, and over 150 peer-reviewed publications to his credit. He has given over 150 keynote/tutorial/invited presentations including keynotes at ICSCRM, APEC, ECCE, and WiPDA. Prior to entering academia and taking an executive position at Power America in 2016, Dr. Veliadis spent 21 years post-PhD in the semiconductor industry where his work included design, fabrication, and testing of SiC devices, GaN devices for military radar systems, and financial and operations management of a commercial semiconductor fab. He has received military training in the Army Infantry and is a third-degree black belt in Shotokan karate. Dr. Veliadis has a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from John Hopkins University (1995).

Title of Keynote Speech

Accelerating SiC Mass Commercialization

Abstract: Silicon devices dominate power electronics due to their superb starting material quality, streamlined fabrication, low-cost volume production, proven reliability and ruggedness, and design/circuit legacy. Although Si power devices continue to make progress, they are approaching their operational limits primarily due to their relatively low bandgap and critical electric field that result in high conduction and switching losses, and poor high temperature performance.

In this lecture, the favorable material properties of Silicon Carbide (SiC), which allow for highly efficient power devices with reduced form-factor and cooling requirements, will be summarized. The co-existence of Si, SiC, and GaN will be discussed, and their respective competitive application advantages highlighted. Device fabrication aspects will be presented with an emphasis on the processes that do not carry over from the mature Si manufacturing world and are thus specific to SiC. The fab models of the vibrant SiC manufacturing infrastructure, which mirrors that of Si, will be introduced. Barriers to SiC mass commercialization will be identified and analyzed. These include the higher than silicon device cost that increases disproportionately with area, defects that limit yields and device area (wafer test maps will elucidate the correlation), reliability and ruggedness concerns, and the need for a trained workforce to skillfully insert SiC into power electronics circuits. The case of system-level price parity between Si and SiC will be made, achieved primarily through the reduced mass and volume of passive components, and the simplified thermal management.

Victor Veliadis

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