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4 May 2016

Infineon unveils CoolSiC MOSFET technology to boost power conversion

Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has unveiled a silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET technology allowing product designs to achieve what are claimed to be previously unattainable levels of power density and performance. CoolSiC MOSFETs are targeted at helping developers of power conversion schemes to save space and weight, reduce cooling requirements, improve reliability and lower system costs.

The new MOSFETs are based on a state-of-the-art trench semiconductor process and represent the latest evolution of Infineon's comprehensive family of CoolSiC technologies. This family includes Schottky diodes and1200V J-FET devices and a range of hybrid solutions that integrate a silicon insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) and SiC diode in a module device.

"For more than 20 years, Infineon has been at the forefront of developing SiC solutions which address demands for energy savings, size reduction, system integration and improved reliability," says Dr Helmut Gassel, president of Infineon's Industrial Power Control Division. "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," he adds. "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."

SiC MOSFET functionality allows power conversion schemes that can operate at triple or more the switching frequency in use currently. This leads to benefits such as reducing the copper and aluminium materials used in magnetics and system housing, facilitating smaller and lighter systems for less transportation effort and easier installation. New solutions supporting energy savings can be realized by the designers of power conversion applications, which can hence harness performance, efficiency and system flexibility in a completely new dimension, says Infineon.

The new 1200V SiC MOSFETs have been optimized to combine reliability with performance. They operate with 'benchmark' dynamic losses that are an order of magnitude lower than 1200V silicon IGBTs. This initially supports system improvements in applications such as photovoltaic inverters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) or charger/storage systems, while later configurations will also extend support to industrial drives.

The MOSFETs are fully compatible with the +15V/-5V voltages typically used to drive IGBTs. They combine a benchmark threshold voltage rating (Vth) of 4V with short-circuit robustness required by the target applications and fully controllable dv/dt characteristics. Key benefits over silicon IGBT alternatives include temperature-independent switching losses and threshold-voltage-free on-state characteristics.

The first discrete 1200V CoolSiC MOSFETs feature on-resistance (RDS(ON)) ratings of just 45mΩ. 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 are ready for use in synchronous rectification schemes due to the integration of a commutation robust body diode operating with nearly zero reverse recovery losses. The 4-pin package incorporates an additional (Kelvin) connection to the source, which is used as a reference potential for the gate driving voltage. By eliminating the effect of voltage drops due to source inductance, this further reduces switching losses, especially at higher switching frequencies.

Infineon has also announced 1200V '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 RDS(ON) rating options of 11mΩ and 23mΩ.

Infineon will start sampling for target applications in second-half 2016, with volume production planned for 2017.

See related items:

Infineon launches direct-drive 1200V SiC JFETs, boosting solar inverters

Tags: Infineon SiC MOSFET

Visit: www.infineon.com/coolsic

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