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Power Semiconductor
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Although many research programs at universities have been set up to expand our knowledge of semiconductor devices and technology for VLSI applications, the area of power semiconductor devices has not drawn much attention. With the widespread use of power devices in consumer electronics, for transportation, and air-conditioning, this technology plays an important role for improving the comfort and well being of people around the world. They are also key enabling devices for reduction of wasted power leading to reduction of usage of fossil fuels and the concomitant reduction in environmental pollution. The Power Semiconductor Research Center (PSRC) was established at North Carolina State University in 1991 to fill this gap.

The mission statement for PSRC is:

“To serve as an international forum for the exploration of ideas that enable improvements in power semiconductor devices”

Since its inception, the center has received strong support by the worldwide power semiconductor industry. Twenty companies from around the globe have participated in PSRC providing not only monetary support but intellectual support as well in the form of Industrial Scholars who have performed research at PSRC in collaboration with Faculty and Graduate Students.

The applications for the research done at PSRC are illustrated in the charts below:

Graph detailing the curve of decreasing System Power Rating (in Volt-Amperes) over System Operating Frequency (in Hertz) with the following technologies listed in order: HVDC Power Distribution, Electric Trains, Uninterruptible Power Supply, Hybrid-Electric Cars, Induction Heating, Audio Amplifiers, Fluorescent Lamps, Television Sweep, Cellular Communication, and Microwave Oven.

Graph detailing technologies based on Current Rating (in Amperes) over Voltage Rating (in Volts) which includes from left to right: Power Supplies, Automotive Electronics, Display Drives, Telecom, Lamp Ballast, Robotics, Motor Drives, Electric Trains, and HVDC Transmission.