Jayant Baliga, the IGBT inventor who wants to KILL his own invention
The theory resulted in an equation that bears his name, using which engineers can predict the outcome of replacing silicon with other materials.
Baliga was then working at GE, and had got a small team to work on gallium arsenide, a well-studied material. However, his global fame was to come for a different reason. He had also invented the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) around the same time. The device combined the virtues of two other kinds of transistors.
It was because of using IGBT that power devices multiplied all around the world, and on an estimate, the device is supposed to have saved the world $24 trillion because of improved energy efficiencies. The uses range from electric cars to household appliances.
Baliga won several awards because of this invention, including the prestigious Global Energy Prize, with his name being mentioned in some science circles as a potential Nobel Prize winner.
However, his original equation is what still sits in his mind, as it predicted that a material called
Baliga now serves as the director of the Power Semiconductor Research Centre in
Yes, even if it means killing his own invention, the
"I told them that we would replace the IGBT eventually," Baliga told ET when he was in India to be the chief of guest of IIT Madras alumni night. "And since I am the father of both it doesn't feel so bad."
Silicon carbide could one day replace IGBTs if they are successful, but its chips would cost more than IGBT chips, as much as ten times. Hence, the North Carolina State University is running a programme to bring this cost down to the level of IGBTs.
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