Full-SiC-module suits PV inverters, UPS & charging systems

24th May 2017
Barney Scott

Higher efficiency, increased power density, smaller footprints and reduced system costs: these are the main advantages of transistors based on SiC. Infineon Technologies is starting volume production for the Easy 1B, the first full-SiC module announced during PCIM 2016. At PCIM 2017, the company showcased additional module platforms and topologies for the 1200V CoolSiC MOSFET family. Infineon is now able to bring the potential of SiC technology to a new level.

“Silicon carbide has reached a tipping point: Taking cost-benefit analysis into account, it is ready for use in a variety of applications,” said Dr. Peter Wawer, Division President Industrial Power Control from Infineon. “In order to make the new semiconductor technology a revolution to rely on, however, it needs a partner like Infineon. Products tailored to the application, our own production capacities, comprehensive technology portfolio and system understanding: these four building blocks have made us the market leader for power semiconductors. We want and will also achieve this with our SiC product portfolio."

The 1200V SiC MOSFETs have been optimized to combine high reliability with performance. They show dynamic losses which are an order of magnitude lower than 1200V silicon (Si) IGBTs. First products will initially support upcoming system challenges in applications such as photovoltaic inverters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and charging/storage systems. The new configurations will also enable revolutionary new solutions in industrial drives, medical technology or auxiliary power supplies in the railway sector in the near future.

One major advantage of the trench technology with the 1200V SiC MOSEFT lies in an extended robustness. This is due to the lower failure in time (FIT) rate and the short-circuit capability, which can be adapted to the respective application. Thanks to a threshold voltage (Vth) of 4V and the recommended switch-on threshold (VGS) of +15V, the transistors can be controlled like an IGBT and safely switched off in the event of a fault. The SiC MOSFETs enable very fast switching transients. In addition, Infineon’s technology offers an easy adjustability of the transients via gate series resistors. The EMC behavior can thus be easily optimised.

Already last year, Infineon announced the lead products Easy 1B (Half-Bridge / Booster) as well as the discrete TO-247-3pin and -4pin solutions. The Easy 1B platform is well established and an ideal module platform for fast switching devices. At this year’s PCIM fair, Infineon will be exhibiting additional module platforms and topologies based on the 1200 V SiC MOSFET technology. This extends the performance spectrum of the CoolSiC MOSFETs step by step. Among others, Infineon showcases the following SiC modules:

  • Easy 1B with B6 (Six-Pack) topology: the module is characterized by the proven Infineon module configuration with an on-resistance (R DS(ON)) of only 45mΩ. An integrated body diode ensures a low-loss freewheeling function. The Easy 1B is suitable for applications in the fields of drives, solar or welding technology.
  • Easy 2B with Half-Bridge topology: this larger Easy device offers an enhanced performance with an RDS(ON) of 8mΩ per switch. The low-inductance module concept is ideal for applications with more than 50kW and fast switching operations. These include solar inverters, quick-charging systems or solutions for uninterruptible power supplies.
  • 62 mm with Half-Bridge topology: an additional Half-Bridge configuration featuring even higher power with an RDS(ON) of 6mΩ per switching function. This module platform offers the possibility of low-inductance connection of systems in the medium power range. A great variety of applications make use of this, including medical technology or auxiliary power supplies in the railway sector, to name a few. Because of the large number of possible applications, Infineon anticipates a rapid spread of this module.

The lead products introduced at PCIM 2016, Easy 1B and the two discrete devices TO-247-3pin and -4pin, are gradually entering volume production during this year. The Half-Bridge configuration for the Easy 1B is now available. Its market launch is supported by various driver modules and demo boards, which are also available from now on. The new product configurations are available as samples, and the serial start is planned for 2018.

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