CSA Catapult wins DER funding to accelerate product development for Net Zero manufacturing technology

Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult will play a central role in developing products essential to the UK’s transition to a Net Zero economy through funding from the Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD) Scale Up competition.
CSA Catapult will collaborate on two projects, which were announced at CENEX-LCV 2023, to deliver next-generation thermal management and supply chain resilience in packaging for PEMD devices.

The first project, POWERDRIVE: Novel POWER moDule aRchItecture for cost effectiVE PEMD manufacture, will see CSA Catapult collaborate with Dycotec Materials to develop a 3D printing process to improve the performance and reliability, and significantly reduce the cost, of packages and modules for automotive applications.

The second project, Lignin thermal devices for automotive power electronics, will see CSA Catapult and Carbon Forest Products produce a feasibility study on a 3D graphite heat sink—a key component used to move heat away from an electronic device—for use in automotive systems.

Using renewable carbon-based graphite to produce heat sinks will contribute to reaching Net Zero goals by 2050 and provide industry with a sustainable alternative to copper and aluminium at a time when mined copper resources are due to capacity.

As the South West and Wales DER Industrialisation Centre (DER-IC), CSA Catapult helps build world-class capability in PEMD technology across the UK and supports progress towards the UK government’s Net Zero targets.

The funding, the final competition from DER, saw 12 projects awarded a total of £5.8 million to scale up PEMD. The award will advance UK capability in Net Zero manufacturing, increase UK industrial resilience and provide investment for important semiconductor technologies.

Venn Chesterton, Deputy Challenge Director of the Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge at Innovate UK said:

“This competition is great for the UK’s Net Zero ambitions as it will ensure that we manufacture more solutions to the Net Zero challenges in the UK. It showcases the commitment of the Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge to invest in the supply chain and manufacturing capability which will underpin growth in several key industries.

“I’m particularly proud of how well the investment sits alongside the continued support for the UK semiconductor industry, through the National semiconductor strategy and the critical minerals community, through the CLIMATES programme.”

Paul Jarvie, DER-IC Lead at CSA Catapult said: “We’re delighted to work with Dycotec Materials and Carbon Forest Products on these collaborative projects to advance Net Zero manufacturing technology. These important projects will utilise the opportunity to deliver next generation thermal performance in the UK and build supply chain resilience for power electronic packaged devices.”

Dr Richard Dixon Founder and Managing Director at Dycotec Materials said: “The POWERDRIVE project will radically simplify the production of power modules by developing an entirely additive process to replace direct-bonded copper (DBC), printed circuit board (PCB) and thermal interface material components…Read more