Power

Bespoke custom power modules from Prodrive Technologies

14th July 2022
Sheryl Miles

Prodrive Technologies is making bespoke power modules accessible to manufacturers of power conversion products to help optimise performance, cost, and dependability.

A range of standard power modules is already available off-the-shelf. However, the custom power modules from Prodrive Technologies meet the growing demand for power modules to meet specific application requirements.

“When manufacturers source generic power modules for their products, there is usually some sort of compromise – they often need to overdesign the solution to achieve the desired power,” says Wouter van Gennip, Commercial Director Power Conversion for Prodrive Technologies. “Yet even generic power modules are not problem-free.”

Power modules suffer from thermal stresses whenever they are switched on or off. The dies, or power transistors, in modules can dissipate a significant amount of heat which leads to materials in the package heating up rapidly, then cooling. This thermal swing is one of the main reasons that power modules will eventually fail.

The custom power modules available from Prodrive Technologies help overcome this particular issue and are designed to help optimise performance, reliability, and costs. Depending on the application’s requirements, a range of different production technologies can be applied. These include soldering or sintering of dies. A sintered layer leads to a bond with high thermal stability, high thermal and electrical conductivity, superior mechanical properties, thinner bond lines, and uniform heat spreading. 

High thermal performance is maintained in all custom power module designs. Other customisation options include different interconnections such as wirebonding, ribbon bonding, and top side sintering. All die materials such as Si, SiC, and GaN, or a combination, can be utilised. 

Plus, the custom power module can all achieve a better distribution of power to the different dies, helping prevent one die from heating up more than others which causes it to fail sooner.

“Our customised power modules help businesses to produce and market superior products, with minimised design effort and time-to-market,” says Wouter. “For instance, a manufacturer may have used two generic power modules together in the past, but this poses challenges related to balancing. In this case, a single custom power module solution can be used instead, typically reducing overall costs.”

Design, qualification, and manufacturing of the new custom power modules can be done completely in-house by Prodrive Technologies to achieve consistent quality and meet relevant standards, such as those for the automotive and industrial industries. Prodrive Technologies is also capable of taking responsibility for wider system and cooling design or integration if required.

“With our experience in power electronics, we can integrate other passive components and part of the gate driving circuitry into the module,” says Wouter. “This gives manufacturers a completely customised design that is more reliable, with better performance, and the volumes they need at a competitive price.”

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