Benefit Analysis of IGBT Power Device Simulation Modeling
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (NIST/EEEL) program supports the development of mathematical models for several classes of semiconductor devices. This study presents the results from a microeconomic impact assessment of the development of mathematical models for the design of insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) semiconductor power devices. NIST/EEEL’s IGBT mathematical modeling program (referred to as the NIST IGBT modeling program) has led to significant economic benefits. These benefits include improvements in R&D efficiency, decreases in transaction costs, decreases in production costs, and improvements in product quality. NIST’s activities have affected software companies, IGBT device manufacturers, and manufacturers of products that employ IGBTs (referred to as applications manufacturers). Software companies have incorporated NIST’s mathematical models into their commercial simulation modeling software. Device manufacturers, such as Harris Semiconductors and International Rectifier, and applications manufacturers, such as Ford Motor Company and General Electric, use this software to design electrical systems employing IGBTs. IGBTs are used in a wide range of applications, such as automotive ignition systems and adjustable speed drives. In the absence of NIST’s activities, industry experts stated that the availability of IGBT simulation modeling software “would have been delayed, and the modeling software developed would not have been as accurate.” This study quantifies the economic benefits associated with improvements in R&D efficiency and reductions in transaction costs. In addition, the study identifies and qualitatively describes the impact of the NIST IGBT modeling program on production costs and quality and performance of final products employing IGBTs.