Medal of Honor Goes to Power Semiconductor pioneer Baliga

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Life Fellow B. Jayant Baliga is the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Medal of Honor “for the invention, implementation, and commercialization of power semiconductor devices with widespread benefits to society.”

While a researcher in the early 1980s at General Electric’s Research and Development Center in Schenectady, N.Y., Baliga led the development of the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT). The energy-efficient transistor is used in lightbulbs (like the one pictured above), automotive electronic ignition systems, electric trains, home appliances, and other applications.

Baliga has been a professor at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, since 1988. There he led the development of other semiconductor devices, including the superlinear silicon RF power MOSFET used in cellphone base station amplifiers as well as TBMS (trench barrier MOS Schottky) rectifiers that act as bypass diodes for solar panels.

Baliga received the 2011 U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation for developing and then helping to commercialize the IGBT. Bestowed by the president of the United States, the medal is the country’s highest honor for technological achievement.

The Medal of Honor is sponsored by the IEEE Foundation. Baliga is to receive the award on 23 August in Amsterdam at the annual IEEE Honors Ceremony.