IGBTs target EV inverters

Renesas Electronics Corp. has announced the development of a new series of silicon (Si) insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) with low power losses in a small footprint. Targeting next-generation electric vehicle (EV) inverters, the AE5-generation IGBTs will be mass produced ON Renesas’ 200- and 300-mm wafer lines at the company’s factory in Naka, Japan, in the first half of 2023.

Renesas previously announced it will ramp up production starting in the first half of 2024 at its new power Semiconductor 300-mm wafer fab in Kofu, Japan to meet growing power semiconductor demand.

IGBTs target EV inverters

Source: (Renesas Electronics)

The silicon-based AE5 process for IGBTs achieve a 10% reduction in power losses compared to the current-generation AE4 products, according to Renesas. This will enable EV designers to save battery power and increase driving range. The devices also are about 10% smaller than the AE4 IGBTs.

The AE5 IGBT family will consist of four products targeting 400-800-V inverters: 750-V withstand voltage (220 A and 300 A) and 1200-V withstand Voltage (150 A and 200 A). These devices provide stable performance over the operating junction temperature (Tj) range from -40°C to 175°C and stable parallel operation by reducing parameter variations to VGE(off) to ±0.5 V. In addition, the IGBTs maintain reverse bias safe operating area (RBSOA) with a maximum IC current pulse of 600 A at 175°C junction temperatures, and a short circuit withstand time of 4 µs at 400 V.

The AE5 IGBTs deliver the industry’s highest performance level with an on-voltage Vce (saturation voltage) of 1.3 V, said Renesas, which is a key value for minimizing power loss. They also offer 10% higher current density compared to conventional products with the small chip size (100 mm2/300 A) optimized for low power losses and high input resistance.

Other key features include a 50% reduction in the temperature dependence of gate resistance (Rg), which minimizes switching losses at high temperatures, spike voltage at low temperatures, and short circuit withstand time, and up to a 6% improvement in power efficiency compared to the AE4 process at the same current density for battery savings and extended drive time.

The devices also are said to improve performance by minimizing parameter variations among the IGBTs and providing stability when operating IGBTs in parallel.

Samples of the 750-withstand voltage version with 300 A are available. Devices are available as a bare die. Additional versions are planned for future release.

Renesas also offers the xEV Inverter Reference Solution, a working hardware reference design that combines an IGBT, microcontroller, power management IC (PMIC), gate driver IC, and fast recovery diode (FRD), and the xEV Inverter Kit, which is a hardware implementation of the reference design. The company also offers a motor parameter calibration tool and the xEV Inverter Application Model and Software, which combines an application model and sample software for controlling the motor.

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