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Engineering a Sustainable Society with Power Semiconductor Devices Abstract

Power semiconductor devices are an embedded technology hidden from the eyes of society.  Silicon IGBTs are now used in all the major sectors of our economy including transportation, consumer, lighting, industrial, medical, and renewable energy generation. The improved efficiency derived from IGBT-based automotive electronic ignition systems has reduced gasoline consumption by 1.5 Trillion gallons over the last 25 years. During this time span, adjustable speed motor drives and compact fluorescent lamps have reduced electricity consumption by 73,000 TWhrs, which is equivalent to eliminating construction of 1366 one-GW coal fired power plants. The social impact includes consumer cost savings of more than $ 23 Trillion and carbon dioxide emission reduction by over 100 Trillion pounds.

This talk will review the evolution of the IGBT concept and provide examples of its applications in various sectors of the economy. The energy savings and carbon emission reduction enabled by the IGBT will be quantified. In addition, the talk will describe enhancing the performance of silicon power MOSFET products using the charge coupling concept and achieving a quantum leap in power device performance with emerging wide band gap semiconductor based power devices.