21-05-2015 | | By Paul Whytock
According to industry analysts IHS the power semiconductor sector has not had a terrific time in recent years with less than impressive market growth in 2013. Admittedly this was followed by a stronger performance in 2014 and if my discussion with exhibiting companies at the power semiconductor show PCIM in Nuremberg were anything to go by then 2015 could see further increases in growth.
One very fundamental but nonetheless tried and tested measure of potential industry sector buoyancy is the number of new products launched at events like PCIM. There were a reasonable number at this year's show and here's my Top Five selection.
MOSFET design has dual-sided cooling options
Toshiba Electronics Europe expanded its family of ultra-high-efficiency, low-voltage MOSFETs by adding new 30V and 60V devices to the company's existing 40V offering. All of the devices will be available in thermally efficient DSOP Advance package options that the company says significantly improves heat dissipation through dual-sided cooling.
Comprising one 30V device and one 60V device, the new N-channel MOSFETs are based on Toshiba's next-generation U-MOS IX-H trench semiconductor process.
At a voltage (VGS) of 10V, the maximum RDS(on) rating for the 30V MOSFET is 0.6mΩ, while typical COSS is 2160pF. The 60V item offers RDS(on) and typical COSS ratings: 1.3mΩ and 960pF.
Regulators enable 48V direct to PoL
Vicor Corporation announced the expansion of its Picor Cool-Power ZVS Point-of-Load Regulator portfolio with the introduction of high efficiency PI3542, PI3543, PI3545, and PI3546 buck regulators.
These buck regulators use the integration of a high performance ZVS topology that enables 48V direct to PoL without sacrificing performance. With step-down regulation from a higher voltage source Vicor believes that engineers can deploy more efficient power distribution architectures, reduce I2R losses, and eliminate costly and inefficient intermediate conversion stages.
Gate-Driver core eliminates Opto-Couplers
Power Integrations unveiled its 2SC0115T2A0-12 dual-channel gate-driver core for 90 to 500kW inverters and converters. Using SCALE-2+ integrated circuit and isolated transformer technology for DC/DC power and switching signal transmission, the new driver core is claimed by the company to improve system reliability and performance by eliminating the need for an opto-coupler.
The driver core's reinforced electrical isolation targets systems with a working voltage of 900V, which is typical for 1200V IGBT modules and complies with the PD2 and OV II requirements of IEC 60664-1 and IEC 61800-5-1. The 2SC0115TA0-12 gate-driver core supports modules up to 2400A and switching frequencies of up to 50kHz.
The driver core's reinforced electrical isolation targets systems with a working voltage of 900V, which is typical for 1200V IGBT modules and complies with the PD2 and OV II requirements of IEC 60664-1 and IEC 61800-5-1.
The core supports modules up to 2400A and switching frequencies of up to 50kHz and includes Soft Shut Down protection for applications with low stray-inductance. For more demanding environments it supports full Advanced Active Clamping to control the IGBT voltage overshoot during turn-off.
Improving electric motor energy efficiency
Analog Devices introduced the ADuM4135 isolated IGBT gate driver to improve electric motor energy efficiency, reliability and system-control performance in industrial motor control applications.
Incorporating ADI's iCoupler digital isolator technology, the ADuM4135 allows customers to comply with IE3 and IE4 motor efficiency standards, consistent with the industry trend toward higher-frequency switching technologies for both motor control and grid-inverters. Safety features include integrated Miller clamping and desaturation detection.
System designers can take advantage of the ADuM4135 gate driver's low propagation delay and skew to minimise dead-time between low-side/high-side switching, minimising losses and improving overall system performance. The ADuM4135 is available in a 16-lead, wide-body SOIC package and provides 8mm creepage and clearance.
Cutting down those turn-off losses
Infineon Technologies launched a new family of CoolMOS C7 series superjunction (SJ) MOSFETs. The 600V series provides a 50% reduction in turn-off losses compared to the CoolMOS CP and, claims the company, offers GaN-like level of performance in PFC, TTF and other hard-switching topologies. The CoolMOS C7 delivers an area-specific on resistance (RDS(on)*A) of 1Ω/mm 2.
Efficiency and TCO driven applications such as hyperscale data centres and telecom base stations benefit from the switching loss reduction offered by the CoolMOS C7. Efficiency gains of 0.3 to 0.7% in PFC and 0.1% in LLC topologies can be achieved. In the case of a 2.5kW server PSU, for example, using C7 600V MOSFETs can result in energy cost reductions of around 10% for PSU energy loss.