ASTRI, ASM Pacific Technology And Alpha Power Solutions Develop First ‘Made In Hong Kong’ Silicon Carbide Intelligent Power Module For Electric Vehicles

21.04.2022

‘Triple A’ Collaboration Could Help Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption in Region

[Hong Kong, 21 APRIL 2022] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), ASM Pacific Technology Limited (ASMPT) and Alpha Power Solutions Co., Ltd. (APS) announced that they are jointly developing the industry's first ‘Made in Hong Kong’ Silicon Carbide (SiC) Intelligent Power Module (IPM) for electric vehicles (EVs).

SiC power transistors are progressively displacing silicon counterparts because of their advantages in voltage resistance, high switching speed, and superior thermal performance, all crucial requirements for next-generation EVs. Enabling power systems with significantly smaller size and weight but much better efficiency could address EV ‘range anxiety’ issues while enabling vehicle design improvements in both aerodynamics and performance.
This development is expected to add impetus to the Hong Kong Government’s drive to promote the development of EVs. It announced in 2021 that by 2035 it would suspend new registrations of carbon fuel-driven private cars (including hybrid vehicles) and require newly registered private small and medium-sized private cars to be EVs.

The Triple A Collaboration

This ‘Triple A’ collaboration is a great example of the spirit of cooperation between the private industry and local technology institutions in Hong Kong. This promotion and development of a third-generation semiconductor ecosystem via the first ‘Made in Hong Kong’ IPM will help fuel Hong Kong’s re-industrialisation endeavours and help create a high-end semiconductor industry ecosystem in China’s Greater Bay Area.

ASTRI has always focused on innovative packaging technology and power electronics technology for electronic modules. In order to develop a ‘Made in Hong Kong’ SiC MOSFET power module, a core research team has been formed. The R&D for this project will delve into technology from raw die to high precision multiple die integration technology. The project will be conducted at ASTRI's 3D Systems-in-Package Laboratory and the Power Lab of ASMPT’s Innovation & Technology Centre. The Power Lab's market leading high-performance SiC IPM complete solutions include printing, precision multiple die placement, silver sintering, heavy aluminium wire bonding, and more.

The three partners bring strong, complementary strengths to the table.

ASTRI is a leader in advanced semiconductor application technology and has been focusing on the development of a new generation of advanced semiconductor technology solutions, including 3D integrated power electronics technology for the construction of high-power SiC modules.

APS is a local manufacturer of third-generation semiconductor silicon carbide power devices in Hong Kong with high-efficiency SiC transistor technology and design capability that helps EVs operate with better battery life and efficiency. It also has strong in-house development capabilities for SiC MOSFET, and strong relationships with EV makers in the region.

ASMPT is a leading global supplier of hardware and software solutions for the manufacture of semiconductors and electronics, possessing more than 1,000 semiconductor packaging technology patents, including ultra-thin chips, ultra-high precision bonding and third-generation semiconductor packaging technology. It has deep technology and process and design know-how including the full range of automotive electronic packaging solutions, from working with a wide array of customers in the industry. Crucially, it will be providing crucial silver sintering solutions to the project via its SilverSAM tool. Its patented anti-oxidation and uniform pressure control technology ensures high-strength sintering quality to address not only the basic thermal and electrical conductivity requirements but can also increase the chip density of the IPM design as well as readiness for the emerging requirement of copper sintering to achieve optimal cost-effectiveness and superior high-power performance from the SiC module.

Dr. Yip Shing-Fai, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, said, "ASTRI is committed to developing a new generation of advanced semiconductor technology solutions. We are able to combine the technology with two companies with precise technology in Hong Kong to successfully create a 'Made in Hong Kong' silicon carbide power module that drives electric vehicles. Silicon carbide power modules not only bring breakthroughs in the development of electric vehicle manufacturing in Hong Kong, but this cooperation can also contribute to the roadmap for the popularization of electric vehicles in Hong Kong while promoting the re-industrialization of Hong Kong.”

"ASTRI is pleased to be working with ASMPT and APS on this 3rd generation semiconductor technology project. This ground-breaking collaboration with Hong Kong-based upstream and downstream semiconductor companies to harness their innovative technologies to jointly develop a high-performance, high-power SiC electronic module will drive innovative electric drive technology that will support an impending popularization of EVs and could usher in a new chapter in Hong Kong's re-industrialisation efforts," said Dr. Daniel Shi, Senior Director of integrated circuits and systems technology at ASTRI.

"APS is very much looking forward to working with ASTRI again, and we will provide our newly-developed SiC MOSFET chip for the project,” said Mr. Tony Chau, CEO of APS. “APS is the first manufacturer of six-inch SiC power devices in Greater China. Our products are widely used in charging piles, photovoltaics, energy storage, electric vehicles and other industries, and we are committed to becoming the world's leading SiC power semiconductor device company. We are confident that through this collaboration with ASTRI and ASMPT, we can inject strength into Hong Kong's re-industrialisation and local semiconductor development."

"We are honoured to develop this high-performance SiC IPM cooperation project with ASTRI and APS,” said Mr. Nelson Fan, Vice President of Business Development, Advanced Packaging Technology, ASMPT. “Through this ‘Triple A’ collaboration, we will continue to inject new impetus into Hong Kong's re-industrialisation, the development of China’s Greater Bay Area, and the development of third-generation semiconductors. ASMPT will commit the necessary experience and resources to help ‘Made in Hong Kong’ power modules achieve high volume manufacturing (HVM) capability, together with our critical silver sintering equipment and expertise.”

The development and popularization of electric vehicles will become a major trend. The government announced last year to formulate a roadmap for the promotion of electric vehicles in Hong Kong. It will stop new registration of fuel-powered private cars, including hybrid vehicles, by 2035. The government will also update its environmental protection procurement policy.

1 MOSFET: metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor, a type of semiconductor. In automotive applications, MOSFETs are used in many car systems, including body electronics, powertrain, chassis and safety, car security, electric drive drain, and infotainment.

About ASTRI
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness through applied research. ASTRI’s core R&D competence in various areas is grouped under four influential technological divisions: trusted artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, communications technologies, Internet of Things (IoT) sensing and AI technologies, as well as integrated circuits and systems. It is applied across six core areas which are Smart City, Financial Technologies, Intelligent Manufacturing, Digital Health, Application Specific Integrated Circuits and Metaverse.

Over the years, ASTRI has nurtured a pool of research, I&T talents and received numerous international awards for its pioneering innovations as well as outstanding business and community contributions. As of 2020/21, ASTRI transferred almost 800 technologies to the industry and granted over 900 patents in the Mainland, the US, and other countries.
For further information, please visit www.astri.org.

Media Enquiry:
Jemmy Leung
Tel: 3406 0375 / 6015 2790
Email: jemmyleung@astri.org

About ASM Pacific Technology Limited (ASMPT)
ASMPT (HKEX stock code: 0522) is a leading global supplier of hardware and software solutions for the manufacture of semiconductors and electronics. Headquartered in Singapore, ASMPT’s offerings encompass the semiconductor assembly & packaging, and SMT (surface mount technology) industries, ranging from wafer deposition, to the various solutions that organise, assemble and package delicate electronic components into a vast range of end-user devices, which include electronics, mobile communications, computing, automotive, industrial and LED (displays). ASMPT partners with customers very closely, with continuous investment in R&D helping to provide cost-effective, industry-shaping solutions that achieve higher productivity, greater reliability and enhanced quality.

ASMPT is one of the constituent stocks of the Hang Seng TECH Index, Hang Seng Composite MidCap Index under the Hang Seng Composite Size Indexes, the Hang Seng Composite Information Technology Industry Index under Hang Seng Composite Industry Indexes and the Hang Seng HK 35 Index. To learn more about ASMPT, please visit us at https://www.asmpacific.com/

For media enquiries:
Lim Ee Guan
Director, Corporate Communications
Tel: +65 6450 1445
Email: eg.lim@asmpt.com

About Alpha Power Solutions (APS)
APS is a leading third-generation semiconductor supplier in China, specializing in the research and development, production and sales of silicon carbide devices.

APS webpage: https://www.alpha-powers.com/

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