New WBG Products Meet Key Performance Requirements
Wide bandgap products from ROHM, STMicroelectronics, and Toshiba leverage the capabilities of silicon carbide and gallium nitride to meet key industry performance requirements.
Leading power component suppliers ROHM Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, and Toshiba Electronics Devices & Storage Corporation have released several new products based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) compound semiconductor materials that are key to meeting performance requirements in the industry.
SiC die from ST will be used in Volvo EV powertrains. Image used courtesy of STMicroelectronics
ROHM’s BM3G0xxMUV-LB series of EcoGaN power stage ICs integrates 650 V GaN HEMTs and gate drivers in a single package for primary power supplies in industrial and consumer applications like data servers and AC adapters.
Auto supplier BorgWarner has entered a supply agreement with STMicroelectronics to use that company’s SiC power MOSFET bare die in its Viper-based power module. This power module is part of the traction inverter system used in several current and future Volvo electric vehicles.
Finally, Toshiba has released its third generation SiC MOSFET products in a 4-pin package designed to improve switching performance.
“User-Friendly” GaN With Better Performance
GaN power devices have emerged as a popular choice for many next-generation energy and space-conscious industrial and consumer applications due to their high-power density and superior efficiency.
However, power conversion circuits based on GaN HEMT devices present challenges for designers who often need to make special accommodations for gate drive requirements.
ROHM Semiconductor’s BM3G0xxMUV-LB EcoGaN power stage products integrate the company’s 650 V GaN transistors and gate driver components into a single package to address this concern.
Integrating the GaN transistor with a well-matched gate driver greatly simplifies the circuit design process. The approach produces a more compact design that consumes less board space while improving performance through matched devices subject to fewer parasitics.
According to ROHM, the integrated EcoGaN power stages have 20% fewer switching losses than comparable discrete implementations.
EcoGaN power stage block diagram. Image used courtesy of ROHM Semiconductor
Silicon Carbide Delivers More EV Range
STMicroelectronics has a supply agreement with BorgWarner to supply their SiC MOSFET die technology for the company’s Viper power module, forming the core of their EV traction inverter platform.
To get the most from the technology, BorgWarner worked closely with ST to optimize the Viper power switch design for use with the 750 V SiC MOSFET die.
The Viper power switch is a key component to the traction inverter platform used in several Volvo EV models, as well as future models.
Volvo is “all in” on EVs and is committed to a fully electric vehicle lineup by 2030.
Patented dual-sided cooling for better heat removal, combined with a 70% reduction in switching losses, allows for a compact form factor that makes the Viper power module 40% lighter and 30% smaller than similar solutions.
Silicon carbide technology is essential to the high-voltage capability (800 V), power density, and efficiency of the Viper power module. Compared with 400 V powertrain vehicles, EVs that use an 800 V bus have much faster charging times with ranges up to 5% longer.
Viper 800 V power module based on SiC technology. Image used courtesy of BorgWarner
Packaging Improves SiC MOSFET Performance
Toshiba has released its third-generation SiC MOSFET devices for industrial applications, including switching power supplies for data centers, electric vehicle supply equipment, solar inverters, and uninterruptible power supplies.
The switches are the first Toshiba SiC MOSFETs in a four-lead TO-247-4L(X) package.
The fourth pin is a key innovation and serves as a kelvin connection between the source terminal of the MOSFET and the gate drive control circuitry. Without distortions from the parasitic inductances associated with the traditional signal path to the source lead, this configuration improves the high-speed switching performance of the device.
According to Toshiba, compared to three terminal devices without the kelvin connector, switches in the new four-pin package demonstrate a 30 to 40% reduction in turn-on and turn-off losses.
The SiC MOSFETs include a mix of models with drain-to-source withstand voltage ratings of 650 V and 1200 V and can support continuous load currents up to 100 A.