New Industry Products

STMicroelectronics Extends Appliance-Control Product Range with Intelligent Power Modules

April 07, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

STMicroelectronics has added intelligent power modules to its product range serving appliances and other low-power motor-drive applications to give customers a simple and compact solution for ac motor drive applications. The modules integrate control functions, IGBT switches, and value-added features to enable smaller, more reliable, and lower-cost control units.

In appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, dryers or washing machines, ST’s Intelligent Power Modules (IPMs) connect directly between the microcontroller and the machine’s motor to control motor speed, and therefore support advanced features for advanced current sensing and lower energy consumption. The IPM’s internal power switches (IGBTs) and dedicated controllers convert the microcontroller signals into the correct high-power waveform to drive the motor.

ST’s four new IPMs are the STGIPS10K60A, STGIPS14K60, STGIPL14K60, and the STGIPS20K60. Each device includes three 600V IGBT half bridges with freewheeling diodes, ST proprietary control ICs, bootstrap diode, and protection functions including temperature control and comparators to protect against over-current and short-circuit faults. The STGIPL14K60 has the added benefit of internal op-amps, allowing designers to eliminate external current-sensing components normally required to control motor speed (Field Oriented Control). This device also has internal dead-time insertion to prevent excessive current damaging the IGBTs, as well as a smart-shutdown function also featured in the STGIPS14K60 and in the STGIPS20K60.

All devices use ST’s Direct-Bond Copper (DBC) packaging, which promotes efficient heat dissipation to maximize power density and also provides high electrical isolation for safe operation. The 25-lead or 38-lead molded SDIP packages have an exposed thermal pad for efficient connection to a heatsink, and achieve thermal resistance as low as 2.4°C/W. These new IPMs extend ST’s established product range targeting motion-control and appliance applications, which includes microcontroller families such as the STM8 and STM32, as well as a large selection of sensors, protection devices, and ac switches including thyristors.

All devices are available in full production; the STGIPS10K60A is priced at $5.60 in quantities of 25,000 units.