New revolutionary silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET technology developed by Infineon promises power conversion designs with improved energy savings, reduced space and weight, reduced cooling requirements and costs, and improved reliability. The devices support improvements in applications such as photovoltaic inverters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and industrial drives.
The new CoolSiC MOSFETs are claimed to operate with ‘benchmark’ dynamic losses that are an order of magnitude lower than 1200 V silicon (Si) IGBTs.
Compared to MOSFETs using conventional Silicon technology, SiC MOSFETs offer many benefits. Power conversion equipment can support energy savings and can operate at triple or more the switching frequency in use today. This, in turn, facilitates smaller and lighter systems by reducing the copper and aluminum materials used in magnetics and system housing. Other advantages include less transportation effort and easier installation.
Based on a trench semiconductor process, the new MOSFET family includes Schottky diodes and 1200 V J-FET devices and a range of hybrid solutions that integrate a Si IGBT and SiC diode in a module device. The first discrete 1200 V CoolSiC MOSFETs feature on-resistance (R DS(ON)) ratings of just 45 mΩ. They will be available in 3-pin and 4-pin TO-247 packages targeted at photovoltaic inverters, UPS, battery charging and energy storage applications. Both devices use synchronous rectification schemes.
Infineon has also announced 1200 V ‘Easy1B’ half-bridge and booster modules based on the SiC MOSFET technology. Combining PressFIT connections with a good thermal interface, low stray inductance and robust design, each module is available with R DS(ON) rating options of 11 mΩ and 23 mΩ.
The MOSFETs are fully compatible with the +15 V/-5 V voltages typically used to drive IGBTs. The devices offer threshold voltage rating (V th) of 4 V, short-circuit robustness and fully controllable dv/dt characteristics. Key benefits over Si IGBT alternatives include temperature-independent switching losses and threshold-voltage-free on-state characteristics.
“For more than twenty years, Infineon has been at the forefront of developing SiC solutions which address demands for energy savings, size reduction, system integration and improved reliability. Infineon has manufactured millions of products containing SiC devices, while our Schottky diode and J-FET technologies have allowed designers to achieve power density and performance not possible with conventional silicon. The strategy has now taken a significant step forward encompassing power MOSFETs that raise the benefits available from SiC technology to a new level, which has never before been possible”, said Dr. Helmut Gassel, President of Infineon’s Industrial Power Control Division.
Infineon will start sampling for target applications in the second half of 2016, with volume production planned for 2017. For detailed information, view the full Press release.