How B. Jayant Baliga Transformed Power Semiconductors

The 2014 IEEE Medal of Honor recipient pioneered the IGBT, now found in cars, lighting, robots, and more

8 min read
How B. Jayant Baliga Transformed Power Semiconductors
Latest Medal Recipient: B. Jayant Baliga was awarded the 2014 IEEE Medal of Honor for his many contributions to the field of power semiconductors.
Photo: D.L. Anderson

It’s the late 1970s, the U.S. economy is reeling from years of sky-high oil prices, and President Jimmy Carter desperately wants to reverse the downward spiral in the nation’s prosperity and morale. Seeking wisdom from the crowd, he brings ordinary citizens to Camp David, who, as he later recounts in his famous “malaise” speech, tell him: “Be bold, Mr. President. We may make mistakes, but we are ready to experiment.”

One person ready to experiment—in the literal sense—was B. Jayant Baliga, the recipient of this year’s IEEE Medal of Honor. At the time, he was developing semiconductor power devices for General Electric, which used countless electric motors in its many products—countless motors that drew countless watts.

Keep reading...Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

IEEE Discusses 6 Simple Solutions to Climate Change at COP27

They include switching to LEDs and making coal plants more efficient

4 min read
overhead scene of trees and a lightbulb in middle
iStockphoto

Simple, effective solutions that can help lessen the impact of climate change already exist. Some of them still need to be implemented, though, while others need to be improved.

That’s according to 2023 IEEE President Saifur Rahman, who was among the speakers from engineering organizations at the COP27 event held in Egypt in November. The IEEE Life Fellow spoke during a session addressing the role of technology in delivering an equitable, sustainable, and low-carbon resilient world.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

How to Stake Electronic Components Using Adhesives

Staking provides extra mechanical support for various electronic parts

2 min read
Adhesive staking of DIP component on a circuit board using Master Bond EP17HTDA-1.

The main use for adhesive staking is to provide extra mechanical support for electronic components and other parts that may be damaged due to vibration, shock, or handling.

Master Bond

This is a sponsored article brought to you by Master Bond.

Sensitive electronic components and other parts that may be damaged due to vibration, shock, or handling can often benefit from adhesive staking. Staking provides additional mechanical reinforcement to these delicate pieces.

Keep Reading ↓Show less