Financial and Technology Glossary

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0-9

Comprehensive term for the manufacture and processing of wafers with a diameter of 300 millimeters.

A

“Mixed-signal” is a generic term for integrated circuits that operate simultaneously with analog and digital signals. Owing to similar requirements in terms of development and manufacturing processes, they are generally grouped together with integrated circuits operating exclusively with analog signals, hence giving rise to the combination “analog-mixed-signal”.

Application Specific Integrated Circuit. Logic IC specially constructed for a specific application and customer; implemented on an integrated circuit.

Authentication means the ability to prove one’s own identity, i.e., proof of the authentic original. However, authentication does not necessarily refer to people only, but also to any tangible or intangible object, such as a device or an electronic document. A user can be authenticated in any one of three different ways: 1.) By providing a certain piece of information, i.e., the user knows something, such as a password; 2.) Through the use of a possession, i.e., the user possesses something, such as a key; 3.) Through the direct presence of the user, i.e., the user is someone or something, such as in the form of a biometric feature.

B

The part of the semiconductor manufacturing process that happens after the wafer has left the cleanroom (frontend manufacturing). This includes testing the chips at wafer level, repairing the chips if necessary, dicing the wafers and packaging the individual chips. There is a growing trend among semiconductor manufacturers to outsource the assembly, and sometimes even the testing, to independent assembly companies. Much of the assembly capacity is based in the Pacific Rim countries.

A bare die is a single, unpackaged chip. Bare die business means the sale of fully processed, unpackaged chips. The packaging and subsequent testing of the packaged chips is performed by the customer. Bare die business is mostly conducted with IGBT module manufacturers that produce their own modules but not their own semiconductors.

A power bipolar transistor is a specialized version of a bipolar transistor that is optimized for conducting and blocking large electric currents (up to several hundred amperes) and very high voltages (up to several 1,000 volts). In industry, the power bipolar transistor – like the power MOSFET (see MOSFET) often used as an alternative – constitutes an important industrial semiconductor component for influencing electric current.

C

Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. Standard semiconductor manufacturing technology used to manufacture microchips with low power usage and a high level of integration.

In contrast to silicon-based semiconductors, compound semiconductors consist of several chemical elements. The combination of materials from the chemical main group III (e.g. gallium) and V (e.g. nitrogen) have the electrical conductivity of semiconductors. This also applies to the combination of materials from the main group IV (carbon, silicon). These compound semiconductors (e.g. gallium nitride or silicon carbide) are therefore of highest importance in technical applications in semiconductor technology, especially for power semiconductors.

Control unit that can convert AC voltages of various rates and frequencies. This is achieved by means of power electronics. Converters are used in wind turbines, for example, in order to feed fluctuating wind energy into the power network with a voltage of constant frequency. In electric drive technology, for example in engine controllers and trains, a converter is used to generate an output voltage of variable, load-dependent frequency from a mains supply of constant frequency.

E

From the Greek epi “upon” and taxis ”arrangement” or “orientation”. Epitaxy is a form of crystalline growth that occurs both in nature (such as in minerals) and in the technical world. In semiconductor technology, epitaxy is the artificial growth of crystalline layers on a substrate, which is usually a wafer. Epitaxy enables various doping profiles for transistors to be created, which are not feasible using other methods such as diffusion or ion implantation.

F

Flexible AC Transmission System – control systems used in electrical engineering. They are used in the field of electrical power supply to specifically control power transmission and distribution in AC networks, in which in principle components of power electronics and therefore power semiconductors such as IGBT modules are used. The controlling of power transfers can be implemented in alternating current networks by changing the idle and active power by means of capacitor batteries or compensation coils.

Frontend process is the designation for all process steps in cleanrooms that the entire wafer must complete. These are lithography, diffusion, ion implantation and application of circuitry levels. Some stations must be completed a number of times. At the end of the frontend process, the wafer may have been through as many as 500 individual process steps. After the conclusion of the frontend manufacturing, the processed wafers are transferred to backend manufacturing for testing and packaging (see Backend manufacturing).

G

Gallium nitride (abbreviated to GaN) is a compound semiconductor material made from gallium (chemical symbol Ga) and nitrogen (chemical symbol N). GaN is used for components including radio-frequency power MOSFETs (see MOSFET) on account of the material’s special properties (such as good thermal conductivity and high electron mobility).

H

A sensor based on the Hall principle, used for measuring magnetic fields, named after the US physicist Edwin Herbert Hall (1855 – 1938). Hall sensors are used in automobiles, for example, for detecting pedal positions or for measuring the speed at which shafts rotate.

High-voltage direct-current transmission. HVDC transmission is a method of transmitting electrical energy at high directcurrent voltages of up to 800,000 volts over distances of more than 1,000 kilometers. HVDC transmission is also used for connecting offshore wind farms to the electricity grid on the mainland.

I

Integrated Circuit. Electronic Component parts composed of semiconductor materials such as silicon; numerous components, including transistors, resistors, capacitors and diodes can be integrated into ICs and interconnected.

Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor Module. IGBTs are semiconductor components used increasingly in power electronics due to their robustness, high blocking voltage, and their ability to be triggered with negligible power. Modules are formed using several IGBTs in parallel within a single casing. These modules are used to drive electric motors both in automotive and industrial applications. Motor speed and torque can be regulated along a gradual scale. Trains such as Germany’s ICE and France’s TGV use IGBT modules for an efficient and rapid electrical drive control.

Integrity Guard (IG) is a revolutionary security technology designed for chip cards and security applications, with which Infineon is ringing in a new era in the field of hardware-based security. IG was specially developed for sophisticated, longlife applications such as payment cards and government identification documents. IG enables a security controller for the first time to provide complete error detection and comprehensive encryption of all chip functions across the entire data path within the chip. For this reason it is known as “digital security”. IG is used in the security controllers of the SLE 77 and 78 families and has won numerous international awards.

An inverter, also called a DC/AC converter, is an electrical device for converting DC voltage into AC voltage, or direct current into alternating current. Inverters are used in solar power plants, for example, for converting the DC voltage generated in the solar modules into AC voltage, which is then fed into the electricity network.

ISO/IEC 27001 is the internationally leading standard for information security management systems (ISMS). It applies to private enterprise companies, companies in the public sector, and nonprofit organizations, where it defines how an information security management system must be introduced, implemented, monitored, and improved. ISO/IEC 27001 offers a systematic, structured, and risk-based approach in order to safeguard confidential data, the integrity of business data as well as to increase the availability of company IT systems.

M

Micro-electro-mechanical system. A micro-electro-mechanical system, or simply a microsystem, is a miniaturized device, assembly or part that contains components of minute dimensions (only measurable in micrometers) that work together as a system. Usually a microsystem consists of one or more sensors, actuators and control electronics on one chip. Infineon manufactures microphones as MEMS. Due to their diminutive size, low power consumption, good shielding from interfering signals and low-cost production, these types of microphone are being increasingly installed in mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, cameras, and accessories such as headsets and hearing aids.

Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor. MOSFET is currently the most widely used transistor architecture. MOSFETs are used both in highly integrated circuits and in power electronics as special power MOSFETs.

N

Near field communication. An international communication standard for contactless data exchange over short distances. The initial drafts of the communication standard appeared several years ago, but the technology did not break through until 2011 when it was included in the first smartphones. NFC can be used as an access key to content on terminals and for services such as cashless payment and paperless ticketing.

P

Power transistor is a term used in electronics to refer to a transistor for switching or controlling large voltages, currents and outputs. There is no standard method of differentiating between transistors for signal processing and power transistors. Power transistors are mainly produced in packages that enable installation on heat sinks, as it is otherwise impossible to handle the dissipation loss of several kilowatts that occurs with some types and applications (see power semiconductor).

S

A special diode that has a metal-semiconductor junction rather than a semiconductor-semiconductor junction. The most frequently used semiconductor material up to 250 Volts is silicon. Silicon carbide (SiC) is used for voltages in excess of 300 Volts (see Silicon Carbide). SiC Schottky diodes offer a number of advantages over conventional diodes in power electronics. When used together with IGBT transistors, it is possible to dramatically reduce switching losses in the diode itself, as well as in the transistor. The name derives from the German physicist Walter Schottky (1886 – 1976).

Compound semiconductor made from silicon (chemical symbol Si) and carbon (chemical symbol C). The abbreviation is SiC. Because of its special material properties (e.g. good thermal conductivity), SiC is used for Schottky diodes, as well as elsewhere (see Schottky diode).

A switch-mode power supply is an electronic module that transforms an AC voltage into a DC voltage. Switch-mode power supplies are more efficient than mains transformers and can be more compact and lighter than conventional power supplies containing a heavy transformer with a ferrous core. Switch-mode power supplies are mainly used in PCs, notebooks and servers. However, they also achieve a very high level of efficiency even at low power, so they are increasingly found in plug-in power supply units, for example as chargers for mobile phones.

T

A wafer is typically around 350 microns (μm) thick when sawn into individual chips. A thin wafer is one that has been polished down to less than 200 microns thick (a human hair or a sheet of paper, by comparison, is about 60 microns thick). Thin wafer technology offers benefits: Thinner chips mean losses can be reduced and the heat generated can be dissipated more effectively. Another advantage is that electrically active patterns can be produced on the backside as well, enabling the chip to provide completely new functions. Thin wafer chips also allow more compact packages.

Trusted Platform Module. A chip that adds elementary security functions such as license and data protection to a computer or similar device. TPMs can be integrated into tablet PCs, smartphones and consumer electronics as well as PCs and notebooks. A trusted computing platform (see Trusted Computing) can be created by combining a specially configured operating system and appropriate software with a device containing a TPM.

Trusted Computing means that the hardware and software used in PCs, as well as other computer-controlled systems, such as mobile phones, can be controlled. This is achieved by means of an additional chip, the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which can use cryptography to measure the integrity of the hardware and of the software data structures, while also saving these values in a verifiable way.

TECHNOLOGY GLOSSARY

0-9

Comprehensive term for the manufacture and processing of wafers with a diameter of 300 millimeters.

Manufacturing technology can be descibed by feature size, such as 90, 65, or 40 nanometers. The smaller the structures, e.g. lines and pitches, the smaller the chip and the cheaper its manufacturing. The 40 nanometer technology succeeds the 65 nanometer technology, which followed the 90 nanometer technology.

A

The anti-lock braking system is an electronic vehicle safety feature that prevents the wheels from locking during heavy braking.

Alternating Current/Direct Current conversion. This is a generic term for power supplies in which alternating current from the mains is converted to direct current, which often then needs to be precisely converted to a lower current (see also "DC/DC conversion").

"Mixed-signal" is a generic term for integrated circuits that operate simultaneously with analog and digital signals. Owing to similar requirements in terms of development and manufacturing processes, they are generally grouped together with integrated circuits operating exclusively with analog signals, hence giving rise to the combination "analog/mixed-signal".

Application Specific Integrated Circuit. Logic IC specially constructed for a specific applThe term band gap, also known as energy gap, has its origins in the quantum mechanical band model and describes the energy difference between the valence band and the conduction band of a solid. The unit of measurement is the electron volt (eV). Conductors do not have band gaps, whereas insulators have band gaps greater than 4 eV. Semiconductors have band gaps ranging from 0.1 eV to around 4 eV (Si: 1.12 eV; SiC: 2.36 to 3.03 eV; GaN: 3.37 eV)
ication and customer; implemented on an integrated circuit.

Application Specific Standard Product. Standard product designed for a specific use that can be used by many customers; implemented on an integrated circuit.

 Infineon brand name for the 32-bit multicore automotive microcontroller family.

B

The part of the semiconductor manufacturing process that happens after the wafer has left the cleanroom (frontend manufacturing). This includes testing the chips at wafer level, repairing the chips if necessary, dicing the wafers and packaging the individual chips. There is a growing trend among semiconductor manufacturers to outsource the assembly, and sometimes even the testing, to independent assembly companies. Much of the assembly capacity is based in the Pacific Rim countries.

A special process for manufacturing high-voltage low power ICs. The abbreviation BCD stands for “bipolar CMOS with DMOS”

A bare die is a single, unpackaged chip. Bare die business means the sale of fully processed, unpackaged chips. The packaging and subsequent testing of the packaged chips is performed by the customer. Bare die business is mostly conducted with IGBT module manufacturers that produce their own modules but not their own semiconductors.

A special process for manufacturing high-voltage low power ICs. The abbreviation BCD stands for “bipolar CMOS with DMOS”

A power bipolar transistor is a specialized version of a bipolar transistor that is optimized for conducting and blocking large electric currents (up to several hundred amperes) and very high voltages (up to several 1,000 volts). In industry, the power bipolar transistor – like the power MOSFET (see MOSFET) often used as an alternative – constitutes an important industrial semiconductor component for influencing electric current.

Information unit; can take one of two values “true”/“false” or “0”/“1”.

 The breakthrough voltage for semiconductor components is the voltage that, when exceeded, the current increases sharply and can ultimately lead to the destruction of the component. The breakthrough voltage can be determined by the doping of the semiconductor layers.

Unit of information in data processing components. One byte is equivalent to eight bits (see bit).

C

Cloud computing is the provision of processing capacity, data storage, network capacity and ready-to-use software via a network with supply matched dynamically to demand. The IT infrastructure functions accessed appear remote and opaque from the user‘s perspective, as if enveloped in a cloud. The remote systems of the cloud are accessed via a network, usually the internet, using a terminal such as a netbook or tablet PC (see netbook, see tablet PC).

Complementary Metal Oxide Substrate. Standard semiconductor manufacturing technology used to manufacture microchips with low power usage and a high level of integration.

Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation, generally known as Common Criteria for short, constitute an international standard for evaluating and certifying the security of computer systems with regard to data security. The Common Criteria define seven levels of reliability (Evaluation Assurance Level, EAL1 to EAL7, i.e. the highest level), which describe the correctness of the implementation and the depth of inspection of the system being evaluated.

Control unit that can convert AC voltages of various rates and frequencies. This is achieved by means of power electronics. Converters are used in wind turbines, for example, in order to feed fluctuating wind energy into the power network with a voltage of constant frequency. In electric drive technology, for example in engine controllers and trains, a converter is used to generate an output voltage of variable, load-dependent frequency from a mains supply of constant frequency.

High-voltage power transistor for voltages from 300 to 1,200  V.

D

Direct Current/Direct Current conversion. A high DC input voltage is converted to a mostly lower, highly precise DC output voltage. The DC/DC conversion is usually positioned on the motherboard in close proximity to the electrical consumer. These consumers can be, for example, the microprocessors of a PC or server, the graphics controller of a graphics card or the network processor of a telecommunications facility.

E

A nonvolatile memory that is integrated on a chip together with a microcontroller processor core. The nonvolatile memory contains the program code.

From the Greek epi "upon" and taxis "arrangement" or "orientation". Epitaxy is a form of crystalline growth that occurs both in nature (such as in minerals) and in the technical world. In semiconductor technology, epitaxy is the artificial growth of crystalline layers on a substrate, which is usually a wafer. Epitaxy enables various doping profiles for transistors to be created, which are not feasible using other methods such as diffusion or ion implantation.

 Electric Power Steering is an electrically driven power steering system, which is equipped with an electric motor as opposed to hydraulically driven systems. The advantage is that the power steering can be tailored to suit the current requirement. In other words, it is only activated as needed during steering operations, which leads to greater fuel economy compared with hydraulic power steering systems.

Electrostatic discharge. ESD is a spark or disruptive discharge caused by a large potential difference in an electrically isolating material that causes a very short, high electrical current impulse capable of destroying electronic devices such as mobile telephones. The cause of the potential difference is mostly a static electricity charge, which can happen, for example, when walking over a carpet and can charge a person with up to 30,000 volts.

Electronic Stability Control. A vehicular technology system that uses sensors and computers to brake individual wheels in order to prevent skidding.

European New Car Assessment Programme. The Euro NCAP carries out crash tests and provides automobile buyers with a realistic, independent assessment of the safety features of many of the most sold vehicles in Europe. Euro NCAP was founded in 1997 and is meanwhile supported by seven European governments as well as automobile and consumer organizations from all EU states.

A decimal prefix for usage in the international system of units, Exa stands for 10 18= 1 quintillion, abbreviated "E", for example exabyte (EByte).

F

Flexible AC Transmission System – control systems used in electrical engineering. They are used in the field of electrical power supply to specifically control power transmission and distribution in AC networks, in which in principle components of power electronics and therefore power semiconductors such as IGBT modules are used. The controlling of power transfers can be implemented in alternating current networks by changing the idle and active power by means of capacitor batteries or compensation coils.

Firmware is software that is embedded in electronic devices. It is mostly embedded in the memory of a microcontroller and cannot usually be replaced by the user. The terms derives from the fact that firmware is functionally firmly connected with the hardware, which means that neither one can function without the other. It occupies an intermediate position between hardware and the application software.

Frontend process is the designation for all process steps in cleanrooms that the entire wafer must complete. These are lithography, diffusion, ion implantation and application of circuitry levels. Some stations must be completed a number of times. At the end of the frontend process, the wafer may have been through as many as 500 individual process steps. After the conclusion of the frontend manufacturing, the processed wafers are transferred to backend manufacturing for testing and packaging (see Backend manufacturing).

G

Gallium nitride (abbreviated to GaN) is a compound semiconductor material made from gallium (chemical symbol Ga) and nitrogen (chemical symbol N). GaN is used for components including radio-frequency power MOSFETs (see MOSFET) on account of the material‘s special properties (such as good thermal conductivity and high electron mobility).

A decimal prefix for usage in the international system of units, Giga stands for 109 = 1 billion, abbreviated to "G", for example gigabyte (GByte).

Giant Magneto-Resistance. The GMR effect is utilized in sensors for the purpose of measuring magnetic fields. GMR sensors are employed in a range of applications, e.g. as steering angle sensors in automobiles.

Global Positioning System. Satellite-based location identification and positioning system based on the transit time differences of received signals.

H

A sensor based on the hall principle, used for measuring magnetic fields, named after the US physicist Edwin Herbert Hall (1855 – 1938). Hall sensors are used in automobiles, for example, for detecting pedal positions or for measuring the speed at which shafts rotate.

Hertz (Hz) is the unit for frequency, and is named after the German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857 – 1894). The Hertz determines the number of oscillations per second, or more generally speaking, the number of repetitive processes per second. Frequently used units are kilohertz (one thousand oscillations per second), megahertz (one million oscillations per second) and gigahertz (one billion oscillations per second).

Hybrid electric vehicle/electric vehicle: collective terms for vehicles powered partly or entirely by an electric motor (see hybrid car).

High-voltage direct-current transmission. HVDC transmission is a method of transmitting electrical energy at high direct-current voltages of up to 800,000 volts over distances of more than 1,000 kilometers. HVDC transmission is also used for connecting offshore wind farms to the electricity grid on the mainland.

A hybrid car is usually understood to be a motor vehicle that is driven by at least one electric motor, as well as a combustion engine. The hybrid drive is used in standard car construction to enhance efficiency, reduce consumption of fossil fuels or increase performance at lower engine speeds. In full hybrid cars the vehicle can be driven solely by the electric motor. In mild hybrid cars, the electric motor is simply used to support the combustion engine, for example when accelerating.

The word "hybrid" comes from the Greek for "mixed" or "originating from two different sources". It has come to be used to denote the heart of a new drive technology in the automotive industry: hybrid vehicles operate with a combination of a diesel or gas engine and an electric motor.

I

Integrated Circuit. Electronic Component parts composed of semiconductor materials such as silicon; numerous components, including transistors, resistors, capacitors and diodes can be integrated into ICs and interconnected.

Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor Module. IGBTs are semiconductor components used increasingly in power electronics due to their robustness, high blocking voltage, and their ability to be triggered with negligible power. Modules are formed using several IGBTs in parallel within a single casing. These modules are used to drive electric motors both in automotive and industrial applications. Motor speed and torque can be regulated along a gradual scale. Trains such as Germany‘ s ICE and France‘s TGV use IGBT modules for an efficient and rapid electrical drive control.

Integrity Guard (IG) is a revolutionary security technology designed for chip cards and security applications, with which Infineon is ringing in a new era in the field of hardware-based security. IG was specially developed for sophisticated, long-life applications such as payment cards and government identification documents. IG enables a security controller for the first time to provide complete error detection and comprehensive encryption of all chip functions across the entire data path within the chip. For this reason it is known as "digital security". IG is used in the security controllers of the SLE 77 and 78 families and has won numerous international awards.

An inverter, also called a DC/AC converter, is an electrical device for converting DC voltage into AC voltage, or direct current into alternating current. Inverters are used in solar power plants, for example, for converting the DC voltage generated in the solar modules into AC voltage, which is then fed into the electricity network.

ISO 26262 is an ISO standard for safety-related electrical and electronic systems in various types of vehicle. ISO 26262 defines a procedure model together with required activities and methods to be used in development and production. The implementation of the standard is designed to guarantee the functional safety of systems that include electrical and electronic components in vehicles. The standard is used by carmakers, automotive suppliers and testing institutions.

K

A decimal prefix for usage in the international system of units, kilo stands for 103 = 1,000, or abbreviated to "k". In the world of information technology, Kilo stands for 210 = 1,024, or "K" for short, e.g. kilobyte (KByte).

L

Laterally Diffused MOS transistor. The increasingly stringent standards concerning the electrical properties of field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) have led to the development of variations of the planar MOSFET in recent decades. They frequently differ in the design of their doping profile or the selection of material. For instance, there is a difference between lateral (i.e. those aligned parallel to the surface) and vertical designs. Whereas lateral transistors (LDMOS) are primarily used in radio-frequency applications for telecommunications, the vertical design is mainly used in the field of power electronics.

M

Decimal prefix for usage in the international system of units. Mega stands for 106 = 1,000,000 = 1 million, or "M" for short. In the world of information technology, Mega stands for 220 = 1,048,576, e.g. megabyte (MByte).

Micro-electromechanical system. A micro-electromechanical system, or simply a microsystem, is a miniaturized device, assembly or part that contains components of minute dimensions (only measurable in micrometers) that work together as a system. Usually a microsystem consists of one or more sensors, actuators and control electronics on one chip. Infineon manufactures microphones as MEMS. Due to their diminutive size, low power consumption, good shielding from interfering signals and low-cost production, these types of microphone are being increasingly installed in mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, cameras, and accessories such as headsets and hearing aids.

A microprocessor integrated into a single IC combined with memory and interfaces, which functions as an embedded system. Logic circuits of the highest complexity can be designed in a microcontroller and controlled by software.

Metric linear measure, corresponding to the millionth part of a meter (10-6). Symbol: µm. As an example, the diameter of a single human hair is 0.1 millimeters, or 100 µm.

Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor. MOSFET is currently the most widely used transistor architecture. MOSFETs are used both in highly integrated circuits and in power electronics as special power MOSFETs.

N

Metric unit of length. Corresponds to the billionth part of a meter (10-9); the symbol is nm. The diameter of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is roughly 2 nanometers. Fabrication features in the semiconductor industry are now measured in nanometers (see 65-nanometer technology).

Near field communication. An international communication standard for contactless data exchange over short distances. The initial drafts of the communication standard appeared several years ago, but the technology did not break through until 2011 when it was included in the first smartphones. NFC can be used as an access key to content on terminals and for services such as cashless payment and paperless ticketing.

O

The term used to describe the minimal resistance of a field-effect transistor. The correct way to write it is RDS(on). The R stands for the electrical resistance. The index DS stands for the connections to the field-effect transistor, which are known as Drain (D) and Source (S). "On" stands for the state of the field-effect transistor.

 Infineon‘s brand name for low-voltage power transistors for voltages between 20 and 300V.

P

Decimal prefix for usage in the international system of units. Peta stands for 1015 = 1 quadrillion, abbreviated "P", for example petabyte (PByte).

A plug-in hybrid is a vehicle powered by a hybrid system, which also includes a battery that can be charged using mains electricity. A plug-in hybrid usually has a larger battery than a conventional hybrid vehicle and thus constitutes a mixed solution of the latter and an electrically powered car.

Over the last 30 years power semiconductors have mostly replaced electromechanical solutions in the areas of drive technology as well as power management and supply, due to their ability to form high energy flows almost at will. The advantage of these components is their ability to switch extremely rapidly (typically within a fraction of a second) between the "open" and the "closed" state. With the fast sequences of on/off pulses, almost any form of energy flow can be created, e.g. a sinus wave.

Power transistor is a term used in electronics to refer to a transistor for switching or controlling large voltages, currents and outputs. There is no standard method of differentiating between transistors for signal processing and power transistors. Power transistors are mainly produced in packages that enable installation on heat sinks, as it is otherwise impossible to handle the dissipation loss of several kilowatts that occurs with some types and applications (see power semiconductor).

R

Repowering in a renewables context generally refers to the replacement of old wind turbines with newer, more powerful and more efficient models. This is done in order to make better use of the available locations and increase the installed capacity while simultaneously reducing the number of turbines.

S

A special diode that has a metal-semiconductor junction rather than a semiconductor-semiconductor junction. The most frequently used semiconductor material up to 250  Volts is silicon. Silicon carbide (SiC) is used for voltages in excess of 300 Volts. SiC Schottky diodes offer a number of advantages over conventional diodes in power electronics. When used together with IGBT transistors, it is possible to dramatically reduce switching losses in the diode itself, as well as in the transistor. The name derives from the German physicist Walter Schottky (1886 – 1976) (see silicon carbide).

Crystalline material. Its electrical conductivity can be changed as desired by the application of doping materials (most often boron or phosphorus). Semiconductors include silicon or germanium. The term is also applied to ICs made of these materials.

A shrink in the context of semiconductor manufacturing is the process of scaling manufacturing down from an existing feature size to the next smaller feature size. The move to smaller structures generally involves shrinking all semiconductor circuit elements equally, although there are some exceptions. Chip function is unchanged, but since the chips are smaller, more can be squeezed onto each wafer and manufacturing costs fall.

A chemical element with semiconducting characteristics. Silicon is the most important raw material in the semiconductor industry.

Compound semiconductor made from silicon (chemical symbol Si) and carbon (chemical symbol C). The abbreviation is SiC. Because of its special material properties (e.g. good thermal conductivity), SiC is used for Schottky diodes, as well as elsewhere (see Schottky diode).

Subscriber Identity Module cards. Chip cards that are inserted into mobile phones in order to identify the user within the network. They are used by mobile phone networks to provide connections to their customers.

Plastic card with built-in memory chip and/or microcontroller, which can be combined with a Personal Identification Number (PIN)

A smartphone is an internet-ready mobile telephone that provides more computer functionality and connectivity than a modern conventional mobile telephone. Current smartphones generally allow users to upgrade their device with new functions by installing additional programs known as appst.

Apart from the generally improved robustness of power semiconductor components with regard to high current and voltage peaks and the reduction of on-state resistance, an increasing number of functions are being integrated in the component. These components are then commonly known as Smart Power Devices and, apart from protective circuitries (such as thermal and overcurrent protection), they also contain more complex functions such as simple microcontrollers or analog-digital converters. The special technology needed to produce Smart Power Devices is known as Smart Power Technology, such as SPT9 from Infineon.

A switching power supply is an electronic module that transforms an AC voltage into a DC voltage. Switching power supplies are more efficient than mains transformers and can be more compact and lighter than conventional power supplies containing a heavy transformer with a ferrous core. Switching power supplies are mainly used in PCs, notebooks and servers. However, they also achieve a very high level of efficiency even at low power, so they are increasingly found in plug-in power supply units, for example as chargers for mobile phones.

T

A portable computer that can be used in a number of ways including as a note pad. The tablet is operated by applying a stylus or, increasingly, finger contact directly onto a touch-sensitive screen. Recently tablets have come to be used primarily for internet access and hence as a terminal for cloud computing (see cloud computing).

Decimal prefix for usage in the international system of units. Tera stands for 1012 = 1 trillion, abbreviated “T”, for example terabyte (TByte)

A wafer (see Wafer) is typically around 350 microns (μm; see Micron) thick when sawn into individual chips. A thin wafer is one that has been polished down to less than 200 microns thick (a human hair or a sheet of paper, by comparison, is about 60 microns thick). Thin wafer technology offers benefits: Thinner chips mean losses can be reduced and the heat generated can be dissipated more effectively. Another advantage is that electrically active patterns can be produced on the backside as well, enabling the chip to provide completely new functions. Thin wafer chips also allow more compact packages.

Trusted Platform Module. A chip that adds elementary security functions such as license and data protection to a computer or similar device. TPMs can be integrated into tablet PCs, smartphones and consumer electronics as well as PCs and notebooks. A trusted computing platform (see Trusted Computing) can be created by combining a specially configured operating system and appropriate software with a device containing a TPM.

A transistor is an electronic component for switching and amplifying electrical signals. Transistors are used in fields including telecommunications, computer systems and power electronics both as discrete components and by the million in integrated circuits.

Trusted Computing means that the hardware and software used in PCs, as well as other computer-controlled systems, such as mobile phones, can be controlled. This is achieved by means of an additional chip, the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which can use cryptography to measure the integrity of the hardware and of the software data structures, while also saving these values in a verifiable way.

V

Variable Speed Drive. Electronic control units for controlling the speed (revolutions per minute) of electric motors.

W

Thin slice of semiconductor material from which the actual chip is produced. Typical diameters for wafers currently are 200 millimeters and 300 millimeters.