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Semikron International GmbH
Founded 1951
Headquarters Nuremberg, Germany
Key people
CEO: Dirk Heidenreich
Products Semiconductor
Revenue 455 Mio. Euro (2008)[1]
Number of employees

Semikron is an independent, family-owned and internationally leading manufacturer of power semiconductor components. The company was founded by Dr. Friedrich Josef Martin in Nuremberg in 1951. German-based Semikron employs 3600 people worldwide (1500 in Nuremberg). Semikron comprises a global network of 35 companies with 10 production sites in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Slovakia, South Africa and USA. 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. According to a survey carried out by BTM Consult ApS, the total wind power capacity installed until 2009 was 122 Gigawatt. 57 Gigawatt comprises power semiconductors from Semikron. In the field of diode/thyristor modules Semikron is the market leader with a 30% share of the worldwide market.[3]

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 in 2010, 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 (both in 2011).


Semikron’s product range consists of 11,600 different power semiconductors from 1 kW to 10 MW, including chips, discrete diodes/thyristors, power modules (IGBT / MOSFET / diode / thyristor/CIB/IPM), driver and protection components and integrated subsystems.

Amongst other developments Semikron invented the world's first isolated power module, the Semipack, of which 56 million are presently in use.

Important innovations of the organization:

  • 2010 SKAI 3 phase converter system up to 250kVA
  • 2009 SKiiP4 intelligent power module with 3600 A; for use in wind and traction applications
  • 2008 MiniSKiiP IPM first intelligent power module for solder-free assembly
  • 2008 SKYPER with fully digital signal processing
  • 2007 SKiM 100% solder-free IGBT modules for hybrid vehicles
  • 2007 Sinter Technology - reliable sintering replaces solder process
  • 2006 SEMiSTART for soft-start devices
  • 2005 SEMiX rectifiers with solder-free spring contacts for electrical connections
  • 2004 SKYPER IGBT driver family
  • 2003 SEMiX first flat IGBT half-bridge family from 250 to 900A with solder-free spring contacts for electrical connections
  • 2002 MiniSKiiPII 2nd generation of Converter-Inverter-Brake modules up to 30 KW
  • 2001 Integrated converters for hybrid electric drives
  • 2000 Low-power rectifiers: standard, fast and super-fast axial diodes, Schottky diodes, Zener diodes, press-fit diodes, low-level rectifier bridges and SMDs
  • 1999 SKiM 6-Pack IGBT modules with driver electronics
  • 1998 SEMITOP rectifier circuits with solder pins for PCB assembly
  • 1996 MiniSKiiP first integrated IGBT rectifier circuits in solder-free spring contact technology
  • 1996 Spring Technology - spring contacts allow for solder-free electrical connections
  • 1995 ASICs optimise the electronic assemblies used to control MOSFET and IGBT modules
  • 1992 Fast, soft freewheeling diode with best properties in the world (CAL-Diode)
  • 1992 SKiiP, the first IPMs (Intelligent Power Modules) with integrated driver and SKiiP pressure contact technology 100-1200A / 600-1200V for high-power applications
  • 1992 SKiiP Technology - pressure contact technology, no soldered copper base plate, fewer solder layers, extended service life
  • 1987 SEMITRANS MOSFET modules for electric vehicles, high-frequency generators, inductive heating and lasers
  • 1984 Bi-polar Darlington transistor modules SEMITRANS
  • 1981 SEMIPACK modules with fast thyristors and diodes. Introduction of glass passivation and square chips
  • 1976 Disc-type thyristors for DC drives and AC converters
  • 1974 SEMIPACK, the world’s first isolated thyristor/diode module, now an industrial standard in its 6th generation. Today, SEMIKRON is global market leader for diode/thyristor modules
  • 1967 The first thyristors for variable-speed DC drives, 3-phase soft-start devices and 3-phase AC power controllers
  • 1964 The world’s first 1A plastic diode for direct PCB assembly for use in radios and TV sets
  • 1963 The first encapsulated bridge rectifier, a revolutionary plastic bridge that established itself across the entire electronics industry
  • 1961 Development of the first avalanche rectifier diode in the world
  • 1959 First silicon diode made of silicon wafers. At this time, the power range of 2.5 - 300 A was an astonishingly high value
  • 1954 Start of SEMIKRON semiconductor manufacturing: selenium rectifier plates and selenium surge voltage protective devices


Today, 57 Gigawatt wind capacity is powered by Semikron technology. 122 Gigawatt (Source: BTM Consult ApS, 03/2008) is the total installed wind capacity since 1993. "Semikron inside" has become a trademark for new markets such as renewable energy and hybrid vehicles as well as industrial applications such as electric drives, welding machines, lifts, power supplies, pumps, conveyor belts, trains and trams.

State-of-the-art technology[edit]

Spring contacts allows for electrical contacts without soldering. Avoiding solder fatigue, spring contacts are resistant against shock, vibration and corrosion, and provide high temperature cycling in harsh industrial environments. The module is easily assembled to the control PCB only with screws. By pressing the PCB to the module the electrical contacts are established.

When using pressure contact technology, the soldered copper base plate and solder layers are omitted. Therefore modules with SKiiP Technology have fewer solder layers and have a 25% lower thermal resistance compared to leaded modules. This guarantees a longer service lifetime.

Sintering in combination with pressure contact results in an increased service lifetime because critical solder is omitted. The chips are not leaded but sintered by a cold weld to the ceramic. The operating chip temperature of 175°C is only 18% of the disassembly temperature of the sinter layer (solder: 60%). This shows that compared to the solder layer, the sinter layer will not fatigue over time in the application.

Quality & Environment[edit]

Semikron has an integrated management system and is certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2000, VDA 6.1, OHRIS Work Security Management. The environmental management system is according to DIN EN 14001 and EMAS. All Semikron products do not contain Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, PBB or PBDE. All products are lead-free according to the RoHS directives.


Via an associated company of the Semikron Group it is possible to order online at the power semiconductor portal SindoPower.

Social engagement[edit]

In memoriam to the wife of the company founder, a registered association called "Martin Care e. V" was started in the eighties. The association provides for orphans in Brazil. Additionally projects in India, South Africa and other parts of the world are supported.

In a children daycare centre at the Nuremberg headquarter Semikron offers 74 places for children of employees from SEMIKRON and other companies operating in the proximity, from the age of 1 year to school age. The centre is open from Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers flexible childcare hours. It is also opened during school holidays and even offers vacation care for brothers and sisters. It was inaugurated by the German Minister for Family Affairs Dr. Ursula von der Leyen at the opening ceremony of SEMIKRON’s daycare centre on 27 June 2007.[4]



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ IMS Research "The global power semiconductor market 2010".
  4. ^ City of Nuremberg: Department for Youth, Family and Social Matters: Yearly Report 2007. Verified 19 March 2013.

External links[edit]