STMicro And Sanken Electric’s Partnership Yields 650V and 1200V IPMs For High-Voltage Designs
Through the partnership between STMicroelectronics (ST) and Sanken Electric, a new family of intelligent power modules (IPMs) to simplify HVAC systems, industrial drives, and general-purpose inverters for industrial and automotive applications.
ST has recently announced a partnership with Japanese semiconductor company, Sanken Electric, Sanken is known for high-voltage power devices and sensor technologies.
STMicroelectronics and Sanken Electric will have IPMs designed to simplify motor drives in HVAC systems while providing short-circuit protection. Image used courtesy of STMicroelectronics.
The new partnership will allow ST and Sanken to create 650V/50A and 1200V/10A IPMs to decrease design complexity and allow for developers to have a cost-effective design.
An Expansion of STMicroelectronics’ STPOWER Modules
ST’s module portfolio, STPOWER includes the SLLIMM (Small Low Loss Intelligent Molded Modules) families of IPMs. The SLLIMM IPMs combine intelligent driving and power switching sections to deliver significant-efficiency gains with the latest generation of power semiconductors (TFS IGBT, Power MOSFET, and Super Junction MOSFET silicon options) and the best IC technologies.
These IPMs have breakdown voltages from 500 to 1200V and current capabilities reaching 50A. ST’s power module portfolio dives into a range of voltage classes, current ratings, and design topologies to improve performance, efficiency, and longevity offered by these devices.
ST’s extensive portfolio of IPMs is able to operate in high-voltage applications thanks to the IGBTs being GaN and SiC-based. Image used courtesy of STMicroelectronics.
Currently, ST’s high power IPM is rated at 650V geared towards industrial applications. Combining a driver control with rugged IGBTs in a small footprint can be used for 3-phase inverter motor drives. ST’s newest IPMs for hybrid and electric vehicle applications will be made possible through Sanken’s expertise in automotive-grade modules.
Sanken Electric’s Automotive Discrete Modules
Through ST and Sanken’s collaboration, ST will be able to list its first automotive-grade IPM under the established SLLIMM family. Sanken has created a few MOSFET-based modules for automotive applications, currently reaching a 200V/5A solution. This IPM is able to combine the switching abilities of MOSFETs and the versatility of diodes to downsize the design of injection coil drivers. Sanken’s experience in automotive-grade IPMs will not only help ST expand its IPM portfolio but dive into a new area of expertise, automotive.
Director, and Head of Device Business Corporate Headquarters of Sanken, Masao Hoshino shared his enthusiasm for the partnership.
“With ST and Sanken contributing their strengths, we can bring this new high-voltage, high-power IPMs to industrial and automotive markets, ensuring superior performance, efficiency, and reliability,” Hoshino said.
Collaborative Efforts Launch Two New IPMs
There come many challenges for engineers having to design for integrating new high-power equipment for existing or new HVAC systems in industrial environments. These design projects are typically quite costly and require a large number of materials that are chemical-grade and explosion-proof to boot. ST and Sanken’s industrial IPMs could eliminate a need for external parts as it simplifies the overall design -becoming a cost-effective solution in the process.
The new IPMs integrate a complete inverter stage including six short-circuit rugged IGBTs with freewheeling diodes, associated high-side, and low-side gate drivers. With an operating frequency of 20 kHz along with system short-circuit and under-voltage lockout protection for gate drivers. An integrated 100 kΩ thermistor for temperature monitoring and a comparator for fault protection is also operating through the IPM.
Key features for the high-voltage IPMs:
- 3.3V/5V TTL/CMOS-compatible inputs
- Shutdown input and Fault output
- Separate open-emitter outputs
- Soft-recovery diodes
- Fully isolated package with isolation rating of 2500Vrms/min
These IPMs will give designers more options to avoid traditional power circuits built using discrete components and simplify the system with desired design specifications minus the complexity.
Eliminating external components by utilizing the IPMs will help accelerate time to market and improve cost-effectiveness and reliability. In early March of 2021, industrial IPM samples will be made available and mass production for industrial and automotive-grade IPMs will follow towards the end of 2021.