Samsung Chooses Infineon MOSFETs for its Newest Refrigerators
Samsung forgoes IPMs for the highest possible price, performance levels that only discrete components can offer.
Infineon announced that Samsung has decided to employ Infineon power components, such as the 600 volt CoolMOS PFD7, in the compressor drives of its new series of refrigerators. This seems to be the first instance of Samsung employing discrete devices instead of intelligent power modules (IPM) for this purpose.
The 600V CoolMOSPFD7. Image courtesy of Infineon
Intelligent power modules (IPMs) offer a high level of integration and free up engineering design time. Currently, however, the best price and performance can seemingly only be attained through the use of discrete power semiconductors and a dedicated design specific to the application.
Samsung’s goals for its new refrigerators include a lower noise level, improved power efficiency and lower total cost. Towards those ends, the company will employ Infineon’s EiceDRIVER gate-driver IC, its CoolSET Gen 5 for AC/DC conversion, and the 600 volt CoolMOS PFD7 for compressor drives.
The 600 V CoolMOS PFD7 is a superjunction MOSFET that features a best-in-class body diode, enabling an improved soft-recovery index and what Infineon describes as the industry’s fastest reverse recovery time (TRR).
When compared to module-based designs, using discrete MOSFETs enables lower energy consumption especially at light-load. Increased efficiency eliminates the need for a heatsink, as well as an overall reduction in system cost and longer lifetimes for Samsung’s new refrigerator lines.
A Sea Change for White Goods Manufacturers
As per Stefan Obersriebnig, Product Line Head High Voltage Conversion of Infineon’s Power & Sensor System Division, “Up to now, the major home appliances market was strongly dominated by modules. It was exciting to see that with our leading MOSFET technologies, we could help our customer Samsung to achieve even higher efficiency levels at lower system cost in such applications.”
Another change coming being embraced by Samsung is inverterization, which will introduce a new level of efficiency and performance.
What is Inverterization?
As described in Infineon’s short video, the purpose of inverterization, or variable speed drive, is to save energy and to extend a refrigerator’s useful lifetime.
In the classical methodology, the compressor, which is the cooling element in a refrigerator, has only two modes, “OFF” and “ON”. When the refrigerator’s internal temperature rises above the level set by the thermostat, the compressor turns on. Once the compressor has cooled the refrigerator down to the desired level, the compressor turns off.
When employing inverterization, the motor control unit includes an inverter, which can direct the speed at which the converter operates for greater efficiency.
Image courtesy of Infineon video
As depicted in the image above, the inverter’s variable AC output controls the compressor’s speed and its power consumption. The inverter, in turn, is controlled by electronic intelligence contained within the refrigerator’s control system, pushing the compressor to higher speeds when, for example, the refrigerator’s door is being opened and closed often by the consumer.
The Benefits of Inverterization
By avoiding the internal stress to the compressor of constantly switching from zero to maximum, the life of the compressor is extended. In addition, Infineon estimates that this method of intelligent control of the compressor will achieve a 30% savings in energy consumption.