SemiSouth Announces New Reference Design for 1200V SiC FET

March 15, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

SemiSouth announced that a new gate reference design is available for its energy-efficient SiC FET, which is a normally-off 63m, 1200V, JFET which the company says consumes 7-to-10 times less switching energy than the insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) typically used in ac distribution networks.

The peak gate current of the driver is +6A / -3A, and is extremely helpful to customers who are designing in or ramping new designs using SemiSouth’s SiC FET since full schematics and bill of materials is provided in the datasheet. "This new reference design allows our customers to add a standard gate driver with a bill of materials cost that is extremely low, since we are using all standard, off the shelf commercial components for the very compact (28 x 19 mm) reference driver board," commented Dan Schwob, SemiSouth’s VP of Sales & Marketing. Since releasing the SiC FET in late 2008, SemiSouth has seen widespread adoption of this popular power transistor because of its advantages in energy efficiency, reliability, and cost relative to other SiC technologies.

According to Dr. Jeff Casady, CTO & VP of Business Development, "The SGDR600P1 is an opto-isolated, two-stage driver, used for high-speed, hard-switching of our normally-off 1200V JFET, which enables customers to quickly and easily obtain record low switching (and total) losses at frequencies up to 250 kHz."

According to the company, SiC is an emerging semiconductor technology enabling energy efficient operation of power conversion and power management in telecom power supplies, inverters in solar and high-frequency welding, future automotive electric vehicle platforms, and many other products. The true promise of SiC is its ability to make power supplies and power inverters up to 50-75% more energy efficient, operate at up to four to eight times higher frequency, and as a result run cooler and be physically much smaller in size. As an example, SiC power JFETs are expected to increase the ’fuel’ efficiency of hybrid electric vehicles and help make them more affordable for consumers.