CISSOID and Tsinghua University to Jointly-Develop SiC Power Systems

April 15, 2019 by Paul Shepard

CISSOID has reached a technical cooperation intention with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics Technologies of Tsinghua University (DoEE). The two parties will jointly-develop systems based on the silicon carbide (SiC) power modules for achieving its potential advantages in high efficiency and high power density after jointly overcoming technical problems.

This cooperation is expected to vigorously support the wide applications of these systems based on SiC power modules in the field of new energy vehicles.

Based in Belgium, CISSOID provides standard products and custom solutions for power management, power conversion and signal conditioning in extreme temperatures and harsh environments. Since its establishment, the DoEE of Tsinghua University has always adhered to the concept of aiming at the international frontier of fundamental research and the major needs of national economic development.

DoEE has superior contribution in related areas in China by being focused on the scientific researches in both electrical and electronic engineering. This alliance between the two strong parties will help to utilize their respective advantages and promote the development of systems based on silicon carbide power devices, eventually to enable the rapid development of new energy vehicles.

"Today, the designs of new energy vehicles are becoming more and more sophisticated with higher and higher requirements for power density and efficiency. SiC devices have the advantages of fast switching speed and small on-resistance, which can fully improve energy conversion efficiency. But in real applications, where the switching frequency of the SiC device is hugely increased, the driver devices are required to be as close as possible to the power module.

"Plus the impact from the sealed environment of the in-vehicle converter, the temperatures of the driver devices are increased to a quite higher level, so we need driver circuit with high temperature resistance and with high temperature packaging for the system development," said Associate Professor Mr. Lu Haifeng, DoEE of Tsinghua University.

"I am very pleased to work together with CISSOID, whose high temperature devices and high temperature packaging technologies can be well matched with the application of SiC devices to achieve high temperature resistance and high power density in the overall design. This helps to achieve the potential high efficiency of SiC devices.

"Especially, their especially proven, industry-leading high-temperature driver products have excellent performance that can help us quickly realize the applications of SiC power modules in new energy vehicles," concluded Professor Haifeng.

"The DoEE of Tsinghua University is a top research institute in China, and it has undertaken many important national new energy vehicle projects, which continuously boost the research and development of advanced technologies for new energy vehicles. CISSOID has a very strong team for designs of high-temperature driver chip and high-temperature packaging technologies. For this collaboration on research and development with DoEE of Tsinghua University, we expect that we shall work together to solve the tough technical problems in applications of SiC," said Mr. Dave Hutton, CEO of CISSOID.

"CISSOID is highly focused on the integration with China's semiconductor industrial ecosystem. We have already absorbed investment from China, and we have started extensive cooperation with China companies in the areas of chip fabrication, packaging and testing. The joint development with a top research institute in China further confirms CISSOID's strategy of broad integration into China's semiconductor industrial chain," Huttom added.

In recent years, new energy vehicles have been growing rapidly around the world. It boosts the rapid expansion of the market for SiC devices. At present, the world's leading players including Tesla and Toyota already started the early adoption of SiC power devices in the field of new energy vehicles. In order to make the SiC devices fully exert its advantages of high temperature resistance, high voltage resistance, high power density, high efficiency, etc., however, there are also many technical problems to be solved.

For example, in automotive, aviation and aerospace, oil and gas, and other applications, SiC devices need drivers to fully support high temperature resistance and exceptional demanding protection mechanisms. CISSOID has a portfolio of driver products, which have been proven in the mission critical applications for more than 10 years for their high-temperature resistance, high-reliability, and high robustness. These products enable SiC power modules to fully release their performance in the systems, then help new energy vehicles to increase their power operation level and cruising mileages.

According to the data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the production and sales volumes of new energy vehicles in China increased by 59.9% and 61.7% year-on-year in 2018. They respectively reached 1.27 million units and 1.256 million units - both of which exceeded 1.25 million units. New energy vehicles have high demands on high-efficiency, small-size, high-temperature-resistance SiC devices and their auxiliary devices.

The high-quality driver products can provide good support for SiC devices in these characteristics, which can greatly improve the overall reliability of the electronic control system. Through this collaboration, CISSOID and DoEE of Tsinghua University will generate powerful synergy to jointly develop high-quality systems based on SiC power modules. It will eventually help China's new energy vehicle industry to achieve faster and better development.