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SiC-based power modules streamline car electrification

Posted: 19 May 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicroelectronics  silicon-carbide  DC-DC converter  electric vehicle 

STMicroelectronics (ST) has introduced what it says are advanced high-efficiency power semiconductors aimed at hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) that are scheduled for qualification to the automotive quality standard AEC-Q101.

In EVs and hybrids, where better electrical efficiency means greater mileage, ST's latest silicon-carbide (SiC) technology allows auto makers to develop vehicles that travel further, recharge faster and fit better into owners' lives. ST claims to be among the first to present new-generation rectifiers and MOSFETs for high-voltage power modules and discrete solutions addressing all the vehicle's main electrical blocks. These include the traction inverter, on-board battery charger and auxiliary DC-DC converter.

Today's power modules typically rely on standard silicon diodes and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). Silicon carbide is a newer, wide-bandgap technology that allows smaller device geometries capable of operating well above the 400V range of today's electric and hybrid drivetrains. The smaller SiC diode and transistor structures present lower internal resistance and respond more quickly than standard silicon devices, which minimise energy losses and allow associated components to be smaller, saving even more size and weight.

ST has been among the first companies to produce silicon-carbide high-voltage MOSFETs, with its first 1.2kV SiC MOSFET introduced back in 2014, achieving 200°C rating for more efficient and simplified designs.

The company said it is using the industry's most advanced processes to fabricate SiC MOSFETs and diodes on 4in wafers. In order to drive down the manufacturing costs, improve the quality and deliver the large volumes demanded by the auto industry, ST is scaling up its production of SiC MOSFETs and diodes to 6in wafers, and is on schedule to complete both conversions by the end of 2016.

ST has qualified its 650V SiC diodes to AEC-Q101, and will complete qualification of the latest 650V SiC MOSFETs and 1.2kV SiC diodes in early 2017. The qualification of the 1.2kV SiC MOSFETs will be completed by the end of 2017.

The STPSC20065WY 650V SiC diode is in full production in DO-247. The range also includes lower current ratings and smaller form-factor TO-220 package options. The STPSC10H12D 1.2kV SiC diode is sampling to lead customers in the TO-220AC package and goes to production this month, with volume production of the automotive-grade version planned for 4Q16. Multiple current ratings from 6A to 20A and packaging options will also be available.

The SCTW100N65G2AG 650V SiC MOSFET is sampling to lead customers in the HiP247 package. It will ramp up in volumes in 1H17. To enable more compact designs, a 650V SiC MOSFET in the surface-mount H2PAK will also be qualified to AEC-Q101 in 1H17.

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