Efficient DC-DC Converter Reduces Size Of Automotive Power Control Unit


STMicroelectronics today announced that its 32-bit automotive microcontrollers and Power MOSFETs have been selected by Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) for the DC-DC converter in Toyota’s new, fourth-generation Prius hybrid-vehicle platform.

The 32-bit automotive MCUs from ST are used for the new Prius’ DC/DC converter, which converts the high voltage from the battery or generator to values used by the vehicle’s 14V subsystems, such as the car radio, lighting and wipers. The DC-DC converter underlies the power control unit, the heart of a hybrid electric vehicle, along with the inverter and the variable-voltage system.

ST’s automotive-grade microcontrollers used in the DC-DC converter of the new Prius are based on the PowerPC architecture and are manufactured using ST’s proprietary in-house embedded-Flash technology.


The DC/DC converter also uses two ST Power MOSFETs. The components’ integration with TICO’s software is said to enable highly-efficient voltage conversion and low heat dissipation, and miniaturisation of the power control unit.

With breakdown voltages from 500V to 1500V, ST’s Power MOSFETs combine low gate charge and low on-resistance with state-of-the-art packaging to deliver highly-efficient power-handling capability.

“The ST-powered DC-DC converter developed by TICO for the new, fourth-generation Prius, establishes a new benchmark in efficiency and technology features and is a prime example of the industry trend towards Smart Driving. We are pleased to contribute to this technology innovation by providing the automotive microcontrollers and power-conversion devices with no-compromises and robust performance”, said Marco Cassis, Executive Vice President, Japan & Korea Region, STMicroelectronics.

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