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18 May 2016

Ascatron raises €4m in A-round funding for final development of its first SiC products

Silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor device developer Ascatron AB of Kista, Stockholm, Sweden (which was spun out of research institute Acreo in 2011, and supplies SiC epitaxial material) has completed A-round financing intended for the final development of its first own SiC products. The total of €4m consists of €3m in equity capital and €1m in an innovation grant. 

Ascatron says that SiC-based power semiconductors can radically reduce losses in electrical transformers. With conventional technology, losses can be up to 20% when electricity is converted to adjust voltage and frequency. The firm therefore focuses on high-voltage applications, where the use of SiC can yield very large energy savings.

"We have started to implement our advanced material technology in production equipment for SiC epitaxy," says chief technology officer Adolf Schöner. "The next step is to optimize our device design and outsource the remaining manufacturing of the chip to a foundry with capacity for volume production," he adds.

The investors include four Italy- and China-based venture capital investors Quadrivio (through its venture capital fund TTVenture) and Como Venture (which together took a 16.7% stake in Ascatron last October) as well as Rise Leader Investment and InteBridge Technology, together LPE SpA (which designs and makes epitaxial reactors for power electronics). The grant comes from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) through KIC InnoEnergy (which supports innovation projects in sustainable energy).

"Our investors have a good mix of understanding both the advanced material technology needed for high-performance SiC power devices, and how to address volume markets for semiconductors," says CEO Christian Vieider. "40% of the market for power electronic components is in China, and there is a lot of interest in SiC for energy saving." 

See related items:

Ascatron and LPE cooperate on 150mm SiC epitaxy for power electronics

Quadrivio and Como Venture take 16.7% stake in Ascatron as part of A-round fundraising

Norstel and Ascatron ally to provide complete SiC epi offering

Ascatron spun off from Sweden's Acreo as first independent pure-play SiC foundry  

Tags: SiC epitaxy SiC devices Power electronics

Visit: www.ascatron.com

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