To protect people and critical equipment, military-grade electronic devices must be designed to function reliably while operating in incredibly harsh environments. Therefore, instead of continuing to use traditional silicon semiconductors, in recent years, electronic device designers have started to use wide band-gap (WBG) materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) to develop the semiconductors required for military device power supplies.
In general, WBG materials can operate at much higher voltages, have better thermal characteristics, and can perform switching at much higher frequencies. Therefore, SiC-based semiconductors provide superior performance compared to silicon, including higher power efficiency, higher switching frequency, and higher temperature resistance.
As the shift to using SiC-based semiconductors continues, other board-level components, such as capacitors, must change as well. For example, as systems operate at higher frequencies, the capacitance needed decreases, leading to many instances where film capacitors can be replaced by ceramic capacitors.