The goal of the ESCAPE project is to establish a globally unique and cohesive end-to-end supply chain capability for innovative SiC power electronics designed to service UK and global end user demand. The project consortium will do this by:
- Aligning the UK SiC supply chain to be capable of the end-to-end supply of materials and parts to support UK power electronics manufacturing
- Developing tier-1 products, based on a robust, secure and integrated supply chain, to production-ready solutions
- Scaling-up investment in UK SiC fabrication through more funding routes
- Aligning OEM requirements to ensure UK supply chain sustainability and aid the disruption of the market through SiC technology
INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY GROUP
AESIN’s role in the ESCAPE project is to engage with industry in providing input and guidance to the project. The Industrial Strategy Group (ISG) has been set up to invite key industry members of the AESIN community to participate in the dissemination of project outcomes. The forum also provides a platform to gather industry insights to steer the project.
The ESCAPE ISGs provide project progress including key milestone achievements. The core of the project is the creation of a Silicon Carbide Power Electronics Machine Drive supply (PEMD) chain. A key aspect of this is determining the scale of the Electric Vehicle market and this has been a key topic of discussion in the ISGs. Another key aspect has been the access to the broader Techworks community. For example, aspects of the manufacturing supply chain have also presented by the NMI manufacturing and supply chain Director, Jillian Hughes.
ISG members, who have supported the project through the provision of Letter of Support towards the goals of the Project, include Rolls Royce, Caterpillar, TATA, Rolls Royce, NISSAN Technical Centre Europe, Aston Martin, Ford, NWF, Thales and YASA.
Three ISGs have been held to date with a further series of ISGs planned for the next 12 months. The ISGs also provide an opportunity for demonstrations. An example of this was the first ISG hosted by the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult in January 2020 where we were privileged to showcase an Aston Martin DBX prototype.
Clas-SiC Wafer Fab is the world’s first dedicated, open, pure-play, 150mm foundry to manufacture Silicon Carbide power devices, where we operate from our custom built and fully fitted out Class 100 clean room facility, in Fife, Scotland, UK.
With over 200 man-years of silicon carbide technical know-how, Clas-SiC combines the best and most experienced talent in the industry, state of the art Silicon Carbide facilities & unique design to manufacture processes to drive innovation in the semiconductor power industry. Clas-SiC offering provides fast prototyping cycle times for SiC wafer fabrication to accelerate R&D and time to market for new device designs through process design kits (PDK) and a library of “off the shelf” Process Module IP which have been created to minimise technical risk, minimise NRE and optimise both R&D cycles and manufacturability.
In addition to the above, Clas-SiC offer individual subcontract processing services for a variety of processing stages such as SiC hot ion implant, SiC carbon cap implant anneal, Rapid Thermal Anneal, etc. Clas-SiC’s team are working closely with a number of the consortium partners on a challenging and advanced SiC power MOSFET development as our contribution to the success of the ESCAPE programme. The SiC MOSFET’s will be at the heart of the advanced power converters delivered by the ESCAPE program.
The Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult was established in 2018 to help the United Kingdom become a global leader in compound semiconductors through collaboration with both large companies, and start-ups to develop and commercialise new applications utilising this technology.
Our purpose is to deliver long-term benefit to the country’s economy and accelerate economic growth in industries where applying compound semiconductors creates a competitive advantage and enables new products or end markets. The Catapult to date has initiated over £100M in projects and is forecast to safeguard or help create 4770 skilled jobs over the course of our initial five year plan.
CSA Catapult’s world-class Innovation Centre is based in the heart of the compound semiconductor cluster in Newport, South Wales where our 87-strong team is working closely with a number of the consortium partners on SiC module evaluation, characterisation, packaging as well as industry requirements as our contribution to the success of the ESCAPE programme.
Exawatt provides detailed manufacturing cost and performance forecasting, technoeconomic analysis and strategic consulting services to customers in the electric vehicle, power electronics, lithium-ion battery and solar PV supply chains.
The company was founded in 2015 to build on prior experience factory design and integration of PV module manufacturing facilities. Since 2017 it has been active in power electronics, with a focus on silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors and their application in electrified transportation and charging infrastructure. Exawatt is a founding partner in the ESCAPE project.
McLaren Applied Ltd. develops world-leading products that harness the power of electrification, telemetry, control and analytics. Our vision is to pioneer a better future by uniquely applying data science, design and engineering.
We draw on a 30-year heritage in electronics and data systems expertise derived from motorsport, including Formula 1 and Formula E, to support other sectors including automotive, public transport and beyond.
McLaren Applied has been at the forefront of automotive electrification technology for over a decade from the first-generation inverter and motor for the McLaren P1. With powertrain efficiency being the most critical consideration in the development of electric vehicles, our fast-charging fifth generation 800v high performance inverter is the fourth generation with silicon carbide (SiC), increasing both vehicle range and performance.
As lead partner of the ESCAPE project, we bring our unique experience in developing SiC power electronics for both motorsport and automotive applications in order to support the growth of a stable supply chain for the technology in the UK.
MaxPower Semiconductor, Inc. was founded in 2007 in the Silicon Valley, U.S.A. With a robust and expansive IP portfolio, which has been established by an internationally renowned team in the power technology industry, MaxPower provides advanced and proprietary power semiconductor solutions that offers optimized performance. MaxPower has successfully developed its technology platforms and products together with its Tier-1 customers across the globe.
In 2019 MaxPower established a fully owned subsidiary, MaxPower Semiconductor U.K., Ltd to institute a research & development and design team dedicated to Silicon Carbide (SiC) power semiconductors for use in the burgeoning electric vehicle and other related application markets in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Continental Europe.
Within MaxPower U.K.’s SiC efforts, it has partnered in a consortium-based project named ESCAPE (End-to-end Supply Chain development for Automotive Power Electronics) to create a complete end-to-end supply chain for next generation SiC Power Electronics, which is a critical component in the electrification of automobiles amongst other infrastructure related applications. By supplying innovative and novel SiC MOSFETs, MaxPower plays a critical role in creating and sustaining the U.K.’s first SiC power electronics supply chain.
Microchip’s Advanced Packaging Services are based in South Wales, UK. With a history of innovating for more than 30 years, our team offers extensive knowledge and expertise to fully support cutting-edge projects and design innovative technology that gives a competitive edge.
Our expertise lies in our precise, secure assemblies to create components that can withstand harsh environments such as extreme temperatures and pressures. We can adapt our solutions to cater to your Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) and security requirements. Our IP-protected products are designed, manufactured and tested in our South Wales facility to deliver full supply chain management of your project.
With a track record of success in designing and developing next-generation miniaturised electronic modules, Microchip’s Advanced Packaging Services are at the heart of mission-critical projects for a net-zero carbon economy.
Through UK design and manufacture of bespoke power modules using advanced Silicon Carbide (SiC) MOSFETs, Microchip Advanced Packaging Services play a critical role in the ESCAPE objective for a UK supply chain for the automotive, energy and industrial markets.
Tribus-D Ltd is a micro SME with over 60 years of industrial experience within the Micro-Electronic Manufacturing business. We have hands on experience of designing and implementing manufacturing processes for Automotive, Aerospace, Oil and Gas, Medical and Consumer applications. We have specialist knowledge in electronic materials, interconnection processes, die attach systems, hermetic sealing, encapsulation, adhesives, soldering and laser processing.
Tribus-D Ltd is seeking to establish a position in the market of packaging of power electronics, building on its long experience of packaging of electronic devices. In the last four years, Tribus-D has been working on Innovate UK funded projects to examine the ways of assembling integrated power modules using embedding methods and is applying this knowledge to the development of innovative ways of building power modules with minimum interconnections and thermal interfaces.
This is being achieved through the generation of relevant IP and then positioning Tribus-D to exploit the results either as a design and manufacturing based consultancy model, IP licensing or royalty based business model to the ESCAPE electronics manufacturing supply chain.
The experience gained will allow Tribus-D Ltd to apply the technologies developed to an extended range of power electronics (e.g. higher voltages (>15kV) and to other target application areas for wide bandgap semiconductors (e.g. RF/microwave, photonics and sensors) through the route of collaboration with the UK based supply chain, followed by transfer of knowledge to a production electronics manufacturing capability, generating income for further growth.
Turbo Power Systems (TPS)
Turbo Power Systems (TPS) are a provider of power conversion solutions, specialising in the design and manufacture of a wide range of innovative high speed electrical machines and power electronic products for varied applications. Our pedigree is focussed in the three core markets of Energy, Industrial and Transportation where we have supplied products ranging from Auxiliary Power Supply for Rail to Oil free, high speed compressor motors for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) application.
More recently TPS have developed and supplied pioneering high power electronic converters for smart grid electricity network distribution and Electric Vehicle charging. Both of these opportunities represent strategic high growth markets of the future and critical areas for realising the decarbonised economy of the future.
Based in Gateshead UK with over 165 employees at its Design and Manufacturing centre, TPS has served both domestic and global export markets for over 40 years. We continue to support large infrastructure projects and manufacturing organisations from our base in the UK and satellite offices in Atlanta, Rio de Janeiro and Kuala Lumpur.
To maximise value for our clients, we are an early adopter of cutting-edge and latest technology. An example of this is in the area of Wide Bang Gap semiconductor materials, where we adopted small Silicon Carbide power devices as early as 2015 to realise compact and efficient power supplies for Rail. This provided TPS with the knowledge and confidence to adopt, more recently, higher power Silicon Carbide MOSFET modules for products with technically challenging specification. These products are entering active service in systems including the London Underground and UK Electricity Distribution Networks, demonstrating their applicability far beyond just automotive application.
Clearly then, access to a sovereign supply source for Silicon Carbide devices is critical to our business and future growth, hence TPS participation in ESCAPE to aid delivery and demonstration of a UK capability for Wide Band gap power devices.
Techworks is the Industry body for Deep Tech technologies representing almost 300 member companies across multiple sectors including Electronic Systems Design and Semiconductor Manufacture (NMI) and Automotive Electronics / Electrification (AESIN). We provide dynamic, connected technical and business focus communities to empower innovation and collaboration, supporting business growth and investment. Our core activity identifies the critical common challenges and leads the responses to tackle them, building partnerships across industry, academia and government. Our NMI community champions the Electronics Manufacturing Industry supporting the established Semiconductor Manufacturing and supply chain communities with activities that encourage innovation, communication and collaboration. Our AESIN community is dedicated to accelerating embedded electronics and power systems innovation for both vehicle electrification and safer highly automated vehicles. Our mission is to strengthen the UK’s deep tech capabilities as a global leader of future technologies, forming adjacent connected communities that are influential in defining and shaping the advancements of industry. We aim to provide a platform to help our members strategically leverage products and services to drive profitable growth.
With Silicon Carbide such an important technology in supporting the drive for electrification, we are delighted to be lead partner in this pioneering initiative to build an end-to-end supply chain and help secure the UK’s role in the electric vehicle revolution.