PowerAmerica and Lockheed Martin have announced a partnership designed to develop a new generation of power-efficient microelectronic devices to reduce energy loss across the power grid and enhance the performance of future aerospace systems. The potential technologies are to date too expensive. The goal is to reduce the cost associated with bringing improved performance and better efficiency in electronic devices.
Led by NC State University, PowerAmerica is one of five institutes created under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), a nationwide network attempting to revolutionize manufacturing in America. Lockheed Martin will partner on projects to accelerate the commercialization of wide bandgap power electronics technologies, enabling components that are smaller, faster and more efficient than their current silicon-based counterparts.
"Wide bandgap semiconductors have huge potential for aerospace and defense, especially in embedded power systems and high-power radio frequency applications," says Jeff Wilcox, vice president of engineering for Lockheed Martin. "For example, next-generation power electronics could significantly reduce the size of an aircraft's cooling system. Just as important, this technology will reduce operating costs in large data centers and decrease energy use across the entire power grid."
Through partnerships with industry, academia and government, PowerAmerica will establish a workforce development program and apply next-generation technology to develop new design tools, provide data, and improve processes, manufacturing techniques and packaging solutions.