POWER SEMICONDUCTORS - STATE OF THE ART AND FUTURE TRENDS
The importance of effective energy conversion control, including power generation from renewable and environment-friendly energy sources, has increased due to rising energy demand. Power electronic systems for controlling and converting electrical energy have become the workhorse of modern society in many applications, both in industry and in the home. Power electronics plays a very important role in traction and can be considered as workhorse of robotics and automated manufacturing systems. Power semiconductor devices are the key electronic components used in power electronic systems. Advances in power semiconductor technology have improved the efficiency, size, weight and cost of power electronic systems. At present, IGCTs, IGBTs, and MOSFETs represent modern switching devices. Power integrated circuits (PIC) have been developed for the use of power converters for portable, automotive and aerospace applications. New materials (SiC and GaN) have been introduced for advanced applications. This paper reviews the state of these devices and elaborates on their potentials in terms of higher voltages, higher power density, and better switching performance.