Nexperia 600V IGBT Offers High Efficiency for Industrial Power Conversion Apps
Nexperia has launched its first-ever insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) device, expanding its portfolio of power MOSFETs and offering additional cost and performance options for power system designers.
Nexperia is expanding its power semiconductor portfolio with the announcement of its new 600 V insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) device targeted for high power conversion applications like power inverters, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), photovoltaic (PV) strings, and EV charging.
600 V NGW30T60 IGBT series from Nexperia. Image used courtesy of Nexperia
With an existing portfolio of gallium nitride (GaN), silicon carbide (SiC), and traditional silicon power MOSFETs, the NGW30T60M3DF is Nexperia’s first-ever IGBT solution. It is intended to offer customers expanded options relative to price and performance for power conversion applications.
The NGW30T60M3DF comes in a standard lead-free TO247-3L package, can accommodate up to 30 A with a withstand voltage of 600 V, and is an ideal solution for industrial power conversion applications up to 50 kHz.
Expanding Market for a Mature Technology
IGBTs have been around for decades, with the first IGBT released by General Electric (GE) in June of 1983. Since then, the technology has become a staple in many medium and high voltage (> 200 V) industrial power applications like electric welding, induction heating, and servo motors.
As the name suggests, an IGBT is a bipolar junction transistor (BJT) that incorporates metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) gate drive technologies to turn the power switch on and off. As a result, IGBT switches can accommodate very high-power levels, up to 2000 V and 1000 A, while maintaining a relatively low threshold voltage for switching that simplifies circuit designs.
Symbol for an N-channel IGBT. Image used courtesy of Toshiba
Typically used in industrial applications, in recent years IGBTs have found their way into the rapidly emerging renewable power (solar, wind, etc.) and electric vehicle (EV) markets for use in high voltage power inverters, photovoltaic (PV) strings and EV charging platforms.
The latest IGBT solutions from Nexperia use carrier-stored trench gate (CSTG) technology to optimize performance.
IGBT carrier-stored trench gate (CSTG) technology, image used courtesy of Nexperia
IGBTs and Compound Semiconductors
Due to their low on-resistances, good thermal conductivity, and high-frequency performance, compound semiconductors, like silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), have emerged in recent decades as a preferred technology for the highest performance power conversion circuits used in EVs, energy storage and renewable power platforms.
However, unlike IGBTs, compound semiconductor devices require high voltages and more complex circuits to turn them on and off. SiC and GaN processes are also less mature, so they can have higher production costs than comparable IGBT solutions and, with less operating history, introduce more doubt concerning their long-term reliability.
For industrial applications where solution size and weight are not the highest priority, lower frequency power conversion circuits based on high-performance and cost-effective IGBTs can be preferred.
Despite the recent success of SiC and GaN devices, the opportunity for IGBT solutions remains robust, with a market expected to double by 2030.
Power switch technologies. Image used courtesy of STMicroelectronics
Flexible Design Options
The NGW30T60 series will offer designers both medium speed (M3) and high speed (H3) variants with recommended switching frequencies up to 50 kHz that are ideal for industrial applications.
Medium- and high-speed switching frequencies. Image used courtesy of Nexperia
The new IGBTs are designed and tested for tight parameter distributions that allow multiple devices to safely operate in parallel for increased power-carrying capacity.
High thermal conductivity and a maximum operating junction temperature up to 175 °C allow for power-dense system designs.
Nexperia’s History of Power Semiconductor Solutions
Philips spun out its semiconductor division, Philips Semiconductor, as NXP in 2006, which spun out its standard products division to form Nexperia in 2017.
The company was acquired by China-based Wingtech Technology in 2018 and currently employs over 15,000 people globally, shipping more than 100 billion products each year.