Tuesday, April 23, 2024

1700V Rugged Silicon Carbide Power Solutions In Place Of Silicon IGBTs

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The 1700V MOSFET die, discrete and power module devices extend a designer’s options for efficiency and power density

High-voltage switching power devices have become an essential requirement for energy efficiency in modern electric charging systems that power commercial vehicle propulsion, as well as, auxiliary power systems, solar inverters, solid-state transformers and other transportation and industrial applications. The earlier technology compromised performance and used complicated topologies due to restrictions on switching frequency by lossy silicon IGBTs. Additionally, the size and weight of power electronic systems are bloated by transformers, which can only be reduced in size by increasing switching frequency.

Therefore, overcoming these challenges and fulfiling today’s energy efficiency requirements is the 1700V SiC MOSFET die, discrete and power modules by Microchip Technology. This SiC technology allows engineers to move beyond IGBTs, by implementing two-level topologies with a reduced part count, greater efficiency and simpler control schemes. Without switching limitations, power conversion units can be significantly reduced in size and weight, freeing up space for more charging stations, additional room for paying passengers and cargo, or extending the range and operating time of heavy vehicles, electric buses and other battery-powered commercial vehicles – all at reduced overall system cost.

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Features include gate oxide stability with no shift in threshold voltage even after an extended 100,000 pulses in repetitive unclamped inductive switching (R-UIS) tests. R-UIS tests also showed excellent avalanche ruggedness and parametric stability and with gate oxide stability, demonstrating reliable operation over the system life. The degradation-free body diode can eliminate the need to use an external diode with the silicon carbide MOSFET. A short-circuit withstand capability comparable to IGBTs can survive harmful electrical transients. A flat RDS(on) curve over junction temperature from 0 to 175 degrees Celsius enables the power system to operate at greater stability than other silicon carbide MOSFETs that exhibit more sensitivity to temperature.

“System developers in the transportation segment are continuously asked to fit more people and goods into vehicles that cannot be made larger,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete product business unit. “One of the best ways to help achieve this is through the enormous reductions in size and weight of power conversion equipment that utilises high-voltage silicon carbide power devices. These same advantages for transportation bring similar benefits to many other industry applications.”

Microchip streamlines the adoption of its technology with a family of AgileSwitch digital programmable gate drivers and a wide range of discrete and power module packaging, available in standard and customisable formats. These gate drivers help speed silicon carbide development from benchtop to production.

Silicon carbide SPICE simulation models compatible with Microchip’s MPLAB Mindi analogue simulator provides system developers with resources to simulate switching characteristics before committing to hardware design. The Intelligent Configuration Tool (ICT) enables designers to model efficient silicon carbide gate driver settings for Microchip’s AgileSwitch family of digital programmable gate drivers.

Microchip’s 1700V silicon carbide MOSFET die, discrete and power modules are available now for order in a variety of package options.


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