Microchip Technology has broadened its silicon carbide portfolio with a family of high-efficiency, high-reliability 1700V silicon carbide MOSFET die, discrete and power modules.
Microchip’s 1700V silicon carbide technology is an alternative to silicon IGBTs.
“System developers in the transportation segment are continuously asked to fit more people and goods into vehicles that cannot be made larger,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete product business unit. “One of the best ways to help achieve this is through the enormous reductions in size and weight of power conversion equipment that utilizes high-voltage silicon carbide power devices. These same advantages for transportation bring similar benefits to many other industry applications.”
The earlier technology required designers to compromise the performance and use complicated topologies due to restrictions on switching frequency by lossy silicon IGBTs. In addition, the size and weight of power electronic systems are bloated by transformers, which can only be reduced in size by increasing switching frequency.
The new silicon carbide product family allows engineers to move beyond IGBTs, instead of using two-level topologies with the reduced part count, greater efficiency and simpler control schemes.
Without switching limitations, power conversion units can be significantly reduced in size and weight, freeing up space for more charging stations, additional room for paying passengers and cargo, or extending the range and operating time of heavy vehicles, electric buses and other battery-powered commercial vehicles – all at reduced overall system cost.
Features include gate oxide stability where Microchip observed no shift in threshold voltage even after an extended 100,000 pulses in repetitive unclamped inductive switching (R-UIS) tests. R-UIS tests also showed excellent avalanche ruggedness and parametric stability and with gate oxide stability, demonstrated reliable operation over the life of the system.
The degradation-free body diode can eliminate the need to use an external diode with the silicon carbide MOSFET. A short-circuit withstand capability comparable to IGBTs survives harmful electrical transients.
Microchip streamlines the adoption of its technology with a family of AgileSwitch digital programmable gate drivers and a wide range of discrete and power module packaging, available in standard and customizable formats. These gate drivers help speed silicon carbide development from benchtop to production.