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1 November 2013

Anvil gains £1m funding to commercialize low-cost SiC-in-silicon power devices

Anvil Semiconductors Ltd of Coventry, UK has secured £1m in funding to help it speed the development and commercialization of its silicon carbide (SiC)-on-silicon technology for power devices.

The benefit of SiC-based devices is their increased efficiency compared with those based on conventional silicon, resulting in much reduced carbon emissions and running costs. However, the high costs of producing devices in SiC has discouraged their widespread adoption, particularly in cost-competitive consumer applications, says Anvil. The use of SiC devices has hence been largely restricted to niche markets where system benefits justify the cost premium. Anvil’s long-term objective is to enable the production of SiC materials and devices at a cost that rivals conventional forms of silicon, while offering substantial energy-saving benefits.

Anvil was spun off in August 2010 from the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering by its technology commercialization subsidiary Warwick Ventures Ltd in order to exploit patented developments in SiC power semiconductor technology. Led by co-founder Dr Peter Ward, Anvil has developed unique technology for the production of epitaxial 3C-SiC layers on silicon substrates that promises a step reduction in the cost of manufacturing power switches in this material, it is reckoned. Anvil’s objective is to enable production of SiC materials and devices at costs close to those for conventional silicon, opening up high-volume SiC device markets.

The latest funding round was led by the Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) and involved Ntensive angel investor group, Cambridge Capital Group, and several individual angel investors, as well as existing investors Midven and Minerva Business Angels. LCIF is a venture capital fund managed by Turquoise International on behalf of the Low Carbon Group at the University of East Anglia and supported by the East of England Competitiveness Program of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, a seven-year investment program part-financed by the European Union). “Anvil has invented a highly disruptive technology applicable to a large and growing market,” comments Noel Forrest, manager at specialist energy and environment merchant bank Turquoise International (which oversees the LCIF fund). “The management team has both technical and commercial strengths,” he adds.

“This investment will enable us to further develop our innovative technology and demonstrate its cost and efficiency benefits to the market,” says CEO Jill Shaw. “With the demand for power electronics and electricity growing continuously, the development of low-cost SiC technology provides a low-carbon and energy-efficient alternative to current power electronics.”

See related items:

Warwick spins off Anvil to develop smaller, more efficient SiC-based power converters

UK funds compound semiconductor R&D projects

Tags: SiC power converters SiC-on-silicon driver ICs

Visit: http://anvil-semi.co.uk

Visit: www.lowcarbonfund.co.uk

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