At a recently concluded online media session addressing ST’s key focus on industrial end market, Francesco Muggeri, Regional VP of Marketing & Applications, Power Discrete and Analogue Products, Asia Pacific shared the contribution made by STMicroelectronics for the automotive, industrial, personal electronics and communications equipment including computers and peripherals markets with EFY.
Industrial market is growing at a fast pace, mainly due to the increasing demand for energy-efficient solutions worldwide and the constant development of newer and well-equipped technologies to meet the incoming requirements. Here, the contribution made by STMicroelectronics is worth noting.
Let’s have a more in-depth look into these technologies:
Power and Energy Solutions
The demand for electricity is steadily increasing. There is expected to be a 30 per cent growth in energy consumption from 2020 to 2030. To bring down CO2 emissions, companies all over the world are focusing on generating more green energy. Here, ST provides cutting-edge solutions for DC-DC charging stations: a 15 kW Bi-directional power factor corrector (PFC) and 65 W Type-C power delivery charger, both based on STM32G4 microcontroller.
15 kW Bi-directional PFC
This solution is built using Silicon Carbide (SiC) MOSFET technology and is capable of delivering better levels of power efficiency. Its 99 per cent efficiency as compared to the 98.5 per cent efficiency of a PFC developed using IGBT allows 330 kWh of power to be saved in a year.
“SiC allows us to achieve 0.5 per cent efficiency. This seems to be a very small number. But in reality, it is more than just numbers. It is not so simple to improve 0.5 per cent when you are close to 100 per cent. So this is a big saving,” says Francesco Muggeri, Regional VP of Marketing & Applications, Power Discrete and Analogue Products – Asia Pacific, STMicroelectronics.
At the same time, its high switching frequency (70 kHz) allows optimization of passive components in terms of size and cost. Applications include EV charging and energy storage.
65 W Type-C power delivery charger
From a user-experience point of view, the 65 W Type-C is innovative for the fact that it includes a half-bridge driver with 650 V GaN FET SiP. The target of this solution is mostly high-end markets involved in mobile phone charging.
“It is capable of delivering up to 93 to 94 per cent charging efficiency. What’s impressive is that it allows you to charge a phone in less than 30 minutes to full capacity,” says Francesco Muggeri.
Some of its key features are:
- Up to 350 kHz switching frequency.
- Higher efficiency at 20 V per full load condition.
- Power density is 1.5 to 2 times higher than the market standard.
Motor Control Ecosystem
ST has a range of motor control solutions devoted to home appliances, particularly air-conditioners and refrigerators. Once again, they are supported by strong technologies comprising of STM32G4 microcontroller, STSPIN32F0, HV SJ power MOSFETs, gate driver ICs, diodes and more.
The 1.5 – 2kW RAC (Room Air Conditioning) is based on STM32G0 while the 2kW RAC and 3.5 kW RAC are based on STM32F3. The higher-energy efficient 7 kW RAC is based on STM32G4.
STM32 is instrumental in strengthening the solution for the fridge. Here, the 250W motor drive solution for the compressor is based on STSPIN32F0601 (featuring STM32F01 with Arm Cortex – M0 core) and STGD6M65DF2 trench gate IGBT 650 V. It helps in reducing the number of components, thereby increasing the space required for food storage. The motor drive solution is also capable of reducing vibration and energy consumption.
Driving home appliances
A complete range of power modules ranging from 30 W to 500 W (for washing machine, fridge, ACs), 3 kW to 30kW (for motor pump, charging station) up to 150 kW to 250 kW (for solar inverter and traction) support various power applications for home appliances, motor drive and eMobility.
It is to be mentioned here that the ST IPM (Intelligent Power Module) consisting of the SLLIMM (Small Low Loss Intelligent Moulded Module) family consisting of MOSFETs, IGBTs and SJ-MOSFETs address the air-conditioning and refrigeration market needs for 10W to 3kW power range.
According to Francesco, their wide motor control ICs are capable of supporting stepper, DC and BLDC motors with high levels of efficiency. These SiP solutions have embedded intelligence for analogue or digital control. They have a high power density of up to 500 W/cm2 and on-chip galvanic isolation technology for ensuring safety.
“If space is a concern, for example for robots and drones, then this is the solution. If you need to reduce the size of the big stuff like fridges, then these devices can offer a very flexible and optimized performance,” he said.
ST‘s solutions are not just limited to these. It also has an extensive offering of high-level intelligent sensing options in the form of MEMS sensors. These include sensors for motion, temperature, pressure, humidity and acoustic monitoring.
Intensive power management for Industry 4.0
The complexity of Industry 4.0 where automation plays a huge role offers quite a few challenges as well as opportunities with respect to intelligent communication and computation.
Providing an insight into this, Francesco Muggeri said, “Industry 4.0 is very complex and differentiated. For driving it, you have to distribute power intelligently, automate the production line and perform integrated data analysis, all of which require a high level of computation, sensing and communication. From the power management point of view, you need to ensure that the power is delivered with continuity. To maximize the efficiency without breaking down, quick wireless charging is the main trend for this application (that is automation) in the future. And as you will move towards more localized computation and edge computing, you will need distributed power management. You also need to have predictive maintenance to prevent issues of device damage and system collapse. All these levels of computations need to be done with power servers, so you need to get power of continuity.”
ST’s strategy for its growth in Asia
To boost the growth of the industrial market in Asia, the company’s focus is on automation, motor control and power and energy. These consist of factory automation, industrial power & tools and power supplies and converters. For this, ST aims to partner technology leaders and key industrial customers for accelerating growth.
“Our strategic objective is to lead the Asia market. We work very closely with our partners who are capable of developing top technologies and innovating with us. As the first step, we have created three competence centers in the last year. We (currently) have a strong presence in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipei, Beijing, Seoul, India, Thailand and Singapore. This helps us create strong activity-based solutions,” says Francesco Muggeri.
He also stated that India is one of the biggest markets for electric bikes and solar energy. The recent norms and regulations have boosted the local economy and have led to an increase in investment from many international companies, with whom STMicroelectronics is pleased to work.
It is expected that the power and energy, and motor control markets will witness a growth of US$ 2.5 billion and US$ 3.1 billion, respectively by 2023 for the Asia market.
With this in mind, ST is continuously striving to reach out to more customers through its dedicated annual Industrial Summit and holding roadshows in several Asian cities.
With such an extensive ecosystem of products and solutions, STMicroelectronics enables leadership and customer innovation across industrial market segments.