Power Integrations announced a strategic investment in SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc., a Mississippi-based manufacturer of high-voltage silicon-carbide (SiC) semiconductor devices. Power Integrations' commitment of $30 million, which includes an equity investment in SemiSouth, a technology license and other financial commitments, will help drive the continued expansion of SemiSouth's SiC fabrication facility and spur continued growth of clean-tech jobs in Mississippi. The companies will collaborate to drive adoption of SemiSouth's SiC technology, which enables ultra-efficient power conversion for solar and wind inverters, hybrid/electric vehicles and other applications that benefit from exceptionally high energy efficiency.
"SemiSouth has made impressive breakthroughs in the development of silicon-carbide technology, attaining exceptionally high levels of efficiency and establishing SiC as an enabler of clean technologies such as solar energy and hybrid/electric vehicles," stated Balu Balakrishnan, president and CEO of Power Integrations. "With a mutual focus on energy-efficient high-voltage semiconductor technology, Power Integrations and SemiSouth are natural strategic partners. We are particularly enthusiastic about investing in Mississippi's emerging high-tech sector, where strong support from government and the academic community has created an environment highly conducive to innovation and private-sector investment."
Founded in 2000 as a spin-out from Mississippi State University, SemiSouth is a privately held, venture-backed semiconductor company with more than 20 U.S. patents in the emerging field of high-efficiency silicon-carbide power devices. The company's products, which include 1200 V and 1700 V transistors as well as high-voltage diodes and power modules, enable ultra-efficient power conversion and power management in applications ranging from three kilowatts to 100 kilowatts today, with products in development to serve applications up to one megawatt. The company operates a 10,000-square-foot clean-room facility at its Starkville headquarters, where it employs more than 70 people.