So-called “SKillbox” with 16 components designed to help students / First 23 Skillboxes handed over during Bavarian professors' visit to SEMIKRON

SEMIKRON has put together a SKillbox to show students the different packaging technologies used in power electronic systems. The first 23 boxes were handed over today during a visit of Bavarian university professors at SEMIKRON.  

"We are involved in numerous research projects with universities and colleges," explained Dr. Thomas Stockmeier, Chief Technology Officer at SEMIKRON during a visit by university professors which was organised by the European Center for Power Electronics and the Bavarian Power Electronics Cluster. "Our close cooperation with universities and colleges delivers important impetus in the area of research and development, and draws new talent to us at the same time. Active participation in eminent networks such as ECPE, the Bavarian Power Electronics Cluster and Energieregion Nürnberg is important added value for Semikron."  

The SEMIKRON Skillbox is a collection of 16 power electronic components such as dismantable assemblies and cross-sectional components, designed especially for use in power electronic classes. The SKillbox was designed as an important visual aid for explaining the main packaging concepts used in power electronic systems," explains Dr. Uwe Scheuermann, who is responsible for component reliability at SEMIKRON, is one of the key project managers in the Skillbox project, and contract lecturer in the area of electronic packaging at the University of Erlangen. The box also comes with information on module specifications and application areas and includes, for example, the pressure-contact module SKiiP3, which is used in wind turbines and elevators, as well as driver module SKYPER 32 Pro, which is used to drive IGBT modules. Also in the box are, for example, bipolar pressure-contact modules, disc-type components and the spring-contact module MiniSKiiP for solder-free PCB mounting.  

"Besides sound knowledge of electronics, components and switching topologies, power electronic engineers also need to be experts in the area of packaging technology," explains Eberhard Petri, cluster manager of Bavarian Power Electronics Cluster (ECPE e.V.). This is the result of a survey on quality requirements conducted by ECPE among power electronic engineers in different companies. "The SKillbox fills a gap in teaching materials at our colleges and universities," underlines Petri.  

"What we want is to make students passionate about power electronics and are delighted if we can attract qualified graduates to Semikron in the process," explains Sonja Christgau, who is responsible for graduate marketing at SEMIKRON. 120 students worked for SEMIKRON in 2011. This figure is an impressive example of how important graduate marketing is in the search for suitable qualified staff for SEMIKRON. At this year's PCIM, the SEMIKRON Foundation, the umbrella organisation for the entire charity activities of the SEMIKRON Group established in 2010, will be awarding for the first time ever the SEMIKRON Innovation Award and the SEMIKRON Junior Award to young researchers. SEMIKRON also provides backing to the nationwide scholarship programme. Another project implemented as part of the graduate marketing activities is the SEMIKRON Advancement Award, awarded annually to a total of 30 students of the Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Nuremberg and the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen.


SEMIKRON is an internationally leading power semiconductor manufacturer. The German-based family enterprise employs 3900 people worldwide. A global network of 36 companies with production plants in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Slovakia, South Africa and USA guarantees fast and competent on-site customer care.  

SEMIKRON is a one-stop provider of chips, discrete semiconductors, transistor, diode and thyristor power modules, power assemblies and systems for markets such as industrial drives, wind and solar, hybrid and electric vehicles, the rail industry and power supplies. SEMIKRON is the market leader in the field of diode/thyristor semiconductor modules, enjoying a 30% share of the worldwide market. (Source: IMS Research, The World Market for Power Semiconductor Discretes & Modules – 2011 Edition)  

The dedication to the hybrid and electric vehicle market is evident in the development and production of power semiconductors for this market but also the majority take-over of Compact Dynamics GmbH, a development specialist for innovative control systems, the joint venture with drivetek, a provider for application-specific control technology, and the take-over of VePOINT, developing and producing inverters, DC/DC converters and chargers.  

Recently, SEMIKRON has introduced a revolutionary packaging technology for power semiconductors which does away with bond wires, solders and thermal paste. The new SKiN Technology is based on the use of a flexible foil and sintered connections rather than bond wires, solders and thermal paste. This results in a higher current carrying capacity and 10 times the load cycle capability – unthinkable with the restrictive wire bonding used in power electronics in the past. Therefore converter volume can be reduced by 35%. This reliable and space-saving technology is the optimum solution for vehicle and wind power applications.