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Date: 20-05-16

SiC power semiconductor devices getting into mainstream

Power semiconductor usage in cars undergoing a major shift, silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs are replaced by Silicon Carbide power semiconductor devices. In EV and hybrid cars, the use of such devices is more relevant due to the power efficiency improvements. Not only the power efficiency and also size of the SiC semiconductor device is also smaller, and due to higher switching frequency ability, the power supply system built out of silicon carbide devices requires smaller inductors and capacitors saving space significantly. SiC does not require freewheeling diodes which are required in case of IGBT Power circuits. Due to lower switching losses, SiC devices generate lesser heat saving heatsinks. SiC also withstand higher voltages. So there are plenty of benefits except for the cost of the device, which tend to go down with volumes demand going up. The best solar PV inverters in the market have already using SiC or semiconductors. To tell you some of the latest new-product announcements, STMicroelectronics is offering a range of SiC devices. ST started SiC device offering in the year 2014, Which were fabricated on a 4 inch wafers. ST plans to make by end of 2016 SiC diodes and MOSFETs on a 6 inch wafer. STMicroelectronics sampling now STPSC10H12D 1200V SiC in diode in TO-220AC package to some of its customers with volume production planned in the fourth quarter of 2016. These diodes are available in the current range from 6 A to 20 A. SCTW100N65G2AG 650V SiC MOSFET in the HiP247 package is also available in samples . It will ramp up in volumes in H1 2017. A surfacemount 650V SiC MOSFET in H2PAK will also be qualified to AEC-Q101 in H1 2017. ST Is also sampling SCTW100N65G2AG 650V SiC MOSFET to its lead customers in the HiP247 package. ST says its 650V SCTW100N65G2AG SiC MOSFET in the EV/HEV main inverter (typical frequencies up to 20kHz) increases the efficiency compared with an equivalent IGBT solution by up to 3%. ST claims its SiC MOSFETs, housed in a proprietary high-thermal-efficiency HiP247 package, also feature the industry’s highest junction-temperature rating of 200°C and show a very small variation of the on-state resistance even at high temperatures. The new vendor offering silicon carbon devices now is fuse/circuit protection expert Littelfuse. Littelfuse has added a new silicone carbide (SiC) Schottky Diodes series called LFUSCD Series. Silicon carbide Schottky diodes are right choice for your designs to replace ordinary silicon rectifiers/ diodes to save on the switching losses. SiC Schottky diodes also withstand higher surge currents without thermal runaway, and operate at higher junction temperatures, making the power circuit (Power factor correction (PFC), Buck or boost stages in DC-DC converters, Free-wheeling diodes in inverter stages (switch-mode power supplies, solar, UPS, industrial drives.), High frequency output rectification) a more robust one. LFUSCD Series available in voltage ratings of 650V and 1200V at current ratings ranging from 4A to 30A for suggested applications such as industrial power supplies, solar inverters, industrial drives, welding and plasma cutting, and EV/HEV charging stations. Littelfuse says its LFUSCD Series SiC Schottky Diodes improve the efficiency, reliability, and thermal management of applications such as Power factor correction (PFC), Buck or boost stages in DC-DC converters, Free-wheeling diodes in inverter stages (switch-mode power supplies, solar, UPS, industrial drives.), High frequency output rectification. The other features of this LFUS Series includes, near-zero reverse recovery, Maximum junction temperature of 175°C, Merged p-n Schottky (MPS) device architecture for surge capability and low leakage. LFUS Series SiC Schottky Diodes are available in tubes in TO-220 two-lead and TO-247 three-lead packages.

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