SiC LED: Half the cost, same great taste…

NoMi Design’s northern lab recently received some next generation gallium-nitride on silicon carbide LEDs.  These new XBD series LEDs from Cree are promising double the lumen per dollar of existing technologies.  From what we gather, the reduced cost is a result of a smaller die (2.45 mm²) and the silicon carbide base allowing higher manufacturing yields by way of better thermal expansion matching.  The four above on the left are the XBD SiC LEDs, for comparison, the two on the right are a slightly larger (3.45 mm²) and more powerful Cree XBG.

As seen on left the new SiC LEDs sport an XBox logo, copyright lawsuit expected in 3, 2, 1 …  This specific R3 binned XBG (right) is rated for 406 lumen at 1.5 Amps and the R2 binned SiC XBD (left) is rated for 252 lumen at 1 Amp.  Some modification of a Cree 7090 star was required to heatsink these tiny LEDs.  A bit of cutting, followed by application of Pb free solder paste and then into the toaster on high for about 5 minutes resulted in some baked goodness, crunchy on the outside but still chewy inside.

Next up is the characterization curves, where we can see the SiC LED has a higher forward voltage for equal current when compared to the XBG.  With these new SiC LEDs offering up a much better lumen per dollar it won’t be long before they start showing up everywhere…

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