17 January 2012

Renesas samples low-loss SiC power devices integrating power conversion circuit on-chip

Tokyo-based Renesas Electronics Corp has developed the RJS6005TDPP Schottky barrier diode (SBD), which uses silicon carbide (considered to have great potential for use in power semiconductor devices).

The new SiC Schottky barrier diode suits use in high-output electronic systems such as air conditioners, communication base stations, and solar power arrays. It also incorporates technology (developed jointly by Renesas and Hitachi Ltd) that contributes to reducing power consumption by about 40% compared with Renesas’ existing power devices based on conventional silicon (Si).

Picture: Renesas’ low-loss SiC power devices.

Recently, driven by environmental concerns, demand has grown for more efficient power supply circuits in many types of systems, particularly regarding power conversion in products using power switching circuits or inverter circuits enabling precise motor control (such as air conditioners, communication base-stations, PC servers, and solar power arrays). The diodes used in these power converter circuits therefore need to provide faster switching speeds and low-voltage operation. Renesas developed the new SiC SBD to address these demands.

The new SiC SBD has a reverse recovery time (the time required to recover to the prescribed current value after switching to the off state) of 15ns (standard value: measuring conditions IF = 15A, di/dt = 300A/µs). This is about 40% faster than that of existing Si-based Renesas products (enabling faster switching speed and reducing power loss by about 40%). In addition, the reverse recovery time does not degrade when the temperature rises, enabling consistently low switching loss when operating in high-temperature environments.

The new SiC-SBD has a voltage rating (forward voltage, VF) of only 1.5V, which is lower than that of existing Si fast-trigger diode products. In addition, the temperature dependency of this characteristic is small, ensuring that a stable forward voltage can be obtained even under high-temperature conditions, so more compact heat dispersion measures can be used.

The RJS6005TDPP uses a package equivalent to the industry-standard fully molded TO-220, with which it is also pin compatible, so it can easily be used as a replacement for conventional silicon diodes on existing printed circuit boards.

Renesas has a line-up of 3-30A power devices (with voltage tolerance of 600V) designed to meet the need for better energy efficiency in high-output systems such as air conditioners, communication base-stations and solar power arrays. Also, plans call for the introduction of a series with a voltage tolerance of 1200V.

Renesas aims to provide solutions combining MCUs (microcontroller units) and analog & power devices, and also to become the leading power device supplier. The firm plans to enhance its kit solutions and compound semiconductor devices, with the new high-voltage SiC-SBD power devices at the core, supplemented by peripheral power supply control ICs, high-performance IGBTs (insulated gate bipolar transistor), high-voltage super-junction MOSFETs (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor), and photocouplers.

Samples of the RJS6005TDPP are available now, priced at $5 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in March and is expected to reach a volume of 100,000 units per month by August. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

Tags: Renesas Electronics SiC Schottky barrier diode

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