Power

Developing high-voltage intelligent power modules

30th October 2020
Alex Lynn

STMicroelectronics and Sanken Electric have collaborated for the performance and practical advantages of intelligent power modules (IPM) in high-voltage, high-power equipment designs. The two companies are developing and will jointly market 650V/50A and 1200V/10A industrial modules, which simplify design challenges and shrink the bill of materials for HVAC systems, industrial servo drives, industrial washing machines, and general-purpose inverters over three kilowatts.

The ST/Sanken IPM product roadmap will continue with 650V/50A automotive-grade modules for high-voltage compressors, pumps, and cooling fans.

“With ST and Sanken contributing their strengths, we can bring these new high-voltage, high-power IPMs to industrial and automotive markets, ensuring superior performance, efficiency, and reliability,” said Masao Hoshino, Director and Head of Device Business Corporate Headquarters of Sanken.

Marco Monti, President, Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics, added: “These new devices extend our established STPOWER SLLIMM portfolio with a High-Power (HP) product line to address applications over 3 kW and introduce our first automotive-grade IPMs that permit sleeker designs and greater reliability.”

IPMs let designers replace traditional power circuits built using discrete components with a compact, integrated device that simplifies circuit layout and PCB design. This helps accelerate time to market and improve cost-effectiveness and reliability. Leveraging easier manufacturing, faster assembly, and bill-of-materials savings, designers of high-voltage equipment can create new generations of power products that are space-saving, economical, energy-efficient, and robust.

Engineering samples of the industrial IPMs will be available in March 2021 and production will begin soon afterwards. Samples of the automotive-grade devices will be available in second half of 2021.

The new IPMs integrate a complete inverter stage including six short-circuit rugged IGBTs with freewheeling diodes, associated high-side and low-side gate drivers in a single package designed optimally for thermal efficiency. Ready to operate in hard switching up to 20kHz, the modules also contain built-in features for protection and control. These include bootstrap diodes, short-circuit protection, under-voltage lockout protection for gate drivers, a 100kΩ thermistor for temperature monitoring, and a comparator for fault protection.

Additional features:

  • 3.3V/5V TTL/CMOS-compatible inputs with hysteresis
  • Shutdown input and Fault output
  • Separate open-emitter outputs
  • Very fast, soft-recovery diodes
  • Fully isolated package with isolation rating of 2500Vrms/min

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