PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductors

At PCIM Europe, power electronics manufacturers unveiled their latest innovations and advances in wideband-gap (WBG) technologies. Silicon power device makers also delivered ON performance improvements. Although silicon dominates the power electronics market, WBG semiconductors are making big inroads in a variety of applications, including data centers, industrial control, automotive, and eMobility. WBG semiconductors like gallium nitride (GaN), in particular, is making big strides in fast charger designs, while silicon carbide (SiC) is expected to see big demand in 800-volt (V) electric vehicles.

Here is a selection of power semiconductors launched at the show. First up are GaN devices that claim breakthrough performance in areas of size, power density, and efficiency.

GaN: Higher power density and efficiency

Efficient Power Conversion Corp. (EPC) announced its enhancement-mode eGaN FET family with the introduction of the 100-V, 2.2 mΩ EPC2071 GaN FET. The EPC2071 offers lower gate charges, QGD, and zero reverse recovery losses, which enable high-frequency operations of 1 MHz and above and high efficiency in a 10.2 mm2 footprint for high power density.

PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductors

(Image: Efficient Power Conversion Corp.)

Claimed as the smallest 100-V, 2 mΩ GaN FET, the EPC2071 is suited for space-constrained applications with demanding requirements for high-power-density performance. Applications include BLDC motor drives, including e-bikes, e-scooter, robots, drones, and power tools as well as telecom and server power supplies, and solar inverters.

The EPC2071 is footprint compatible with EPC’s prior Generation 4 family of products: the EPC2021, EPC2022, and EPC2206. However, the Generation 5 improvement in area × RDS(on) gives the EPC2071 the same on-resistance as the prior generation with a 26% smaller size.

Compared to a silicon mosfet, the EPC2071 is one-third the size with the same RDS(on) , and the dead time can be reduced from 500 ns to 20 ns to optimize the motor and inverter efficiency as well as to reduce acoustic noise, said EPC. In addition, the QG is one-fourth that of the silicon MOSFET.

EPC also offers the EPC9174 reference design board, a 1.2-kW, 48-V input to 12-V output LLC converter. It features the EPC2071 for the primary-side full bridge, along with the uP1966E and LMG1020 gate drivers as well as the Microchip dsPIC33CK32MP102 16-bit digital controller. The board, measuring 22.9 × 58.4 × 10 mm, delivers power density of 1472 W/in3) and peak efficiency of 97.3% at 550 W. Full load efficiency is 96.3% at 12 V, delivering a 100-A output.

Both the EPC2071 and EPC9174 demonstration board are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key. EPC also offers a cross-reference tool for designers who are interested in replacing their silicon mosfets with a GaN solution.

GaN Systems showcased several innovative solutions with breakthrough performances using GaN Systems’ gallium-nitride (GaN) power semiconductors at PCIM Europe 2022. Two products highlighted at the show include a 100-W/in3 data-center power supply and a high-power-density power supply for gaming laptops.

PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductors

(Image: GaN Systems)

GaN Systems and xFusion Digital Technologies Co., Ltd. (xFusion) introduced the xFusion 3-kW power supply unit (PSU), touted as the first 100-W/in3 with 80 Plus Titanium efficiency solution. Reaching power densities up to 100 W/in3 with 96+% efficiency, results in power supplies half the size and half the power loss compared to silicon-based power supplies, according to GaN Systems.

The xFusion PSU measures 68 × 183 × 40.5 mm. It supports 90-264 VDC and 180-300 VAC input, 12-V output.

The switch to GaN System’s power transistors demonstrated increased performance for products with power levels from 800 W to 6 kW.

“For each set of 10 racks in the data center, GaN-based PSUs can increase profits by $3 million and reduce the cost of operating a data center and CO2 emissions output by more than 100 metric tons per year,” said the company.

GaN Systems also announced the launch of Phihong Technology’s 280-W GaN charger, claimed as the industry’s highest power density power supply for gaming laptops. The gaming power supply is housed in an ultra-compact 160 × 69 × 25 mm case and weighs 700 g, touting a 50% smaller and 30% lighter design than legacy 280-W gaming chargers.

With a 16 W/in3 power density, Phihong’s 280-W GaN charger is said to be highly efficient, with a 95% full load conversion efficiency and <0.2W no-load standby loss. It also features zero voltage and zero current software switching technology and digital control.

Extending its reach into higher power applications such as data centers, solar, and electric vehicles, Navitas Semiconductor has introduced the NV6169, a new high-power 650/800 V-rated GaNFast power IC with GaNSense technology. The new GaN power IC addresses higher power applications such as 400-1,000-W 4K/8K TVs and displays, gaming systems, 500-W solar microinverters, 1.2-kW data-center SMPS, and up to 4-kW/5-hp motor drives.

“Compared with traditional silicon chargers, GaN chargers can achieve 3× the power or 3× faster charging with up to 40% energy savings in just half the size and weight of legacy silicon solutions,” said Navitas. It also runs 20× faster than traditional silicon, added the company.

PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductors

(Image: Navitas)

The 45-mOhms NV6169 features a 36% reduction in on-resistance (RDS(ON)), delivering 50% more power than previous designs, in an industry-standard 8 × 8 mm-PQFN package for high-efficiency, high-density power systems.

The NV6169 is the highest-power-rated IC in the third-generation integrated GaN platform. The GaN power IC is rated at 650 V for nominal operation plus an 800-V peak-rating for robust operation during transient events. The GaN gate is fully-protected and the device is rated at an electrostatic discharge (ESD) specification of 2 kV.

Navitas’ GaNFast power ICs with GaNSense technology integrate power, drive, and control, with additional autonomous protection and loss-less current sensing. They claim the industry’s fastest short-circuit protection, with a ‘detect-to-protect’ speed of 30 ns, which is 6× faster than discrete solutions, said Navitas.

In motor-drive applications, GaN ICs deliver up to 40% energy savings versus silicon IGBTs, eliminate 30 external components, and increase system efficiency by 8%, according to the company.

The NV6169 is available immediately to customers under NDA. Mass production lead times range from six to 16 weeks. Simulation models (PSPICE/LTSPICE/SiMetrix), a 3D package model (STP), and an application note (AN-0016) are available.

Innoscience Technology and Silanna Semiconductor demonstrated a 65-W active clamp flyback (ACF) reference design with 30 W/in3 power density for USB-PD PSU designs at PCIM Europe. The design achieves efficiency levels of greater than 94% @ 230 VAC and offers a no-load power consumption of less than 25 mW.

The design consists of Innoscience’s INN650D240A 650-V GaN-on-silicon enhancement-mode power Transistor with Silanna’s SZ1131 fully integrated ACF controller. The GaN HEMT enables ultra-high switching frequency, and features no reverse-recovery charge, low gate charge, and low output charge. RDS(on) max is 240 mΩ. Silanna claims the CO2 Smart Power SZ1131 offers the industry’s highest integration and operational efficiency (95%) with an ultra-low no-load power consumption of under 20 mW.

The 65-W reference design on a PCBA measures 34 × 34.5 × 30.5 mm. It provides an input Voltage range of 90-265 VAC and offers USB-PD output voltages and current configurations of 5 V/3 A, 9 V/3 A, 15 V/3 A, and 20 V/3.25 A. Higher power multi-port reference designs are under development.

SiC: Improved on-resistance and new packages

UnitedSiC (now Qorvo) has released its next-generation series of 1200-V SiC FETs, claiming industry-leading figures of merit for on-resistance. The new UF4C/SC series of 1200-V Gen 4 SiC FETs target mainstream 800-V bus architectures in onboard chargers for electric vehicles, industrial battery chargers, industrial power supplies, DC/DC solar inverters, as well as welding machines, uninterruptible power supplies, and induction heating applications.

Here are the figures of merit for the UF4C/SC series:

PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductors

All RDS(on) options (23, 30, 53 and 70 milliohm) are offered in the industry-standard 4-lead kelvin source TO-247 package. Qorvo said this provides “cleaner switching at higher performance levels.”

The 53- and 70-milliohm devices are also available in the TO-247 3-lead package. These devices provide optimal thermal performance and high reliability thanks to advanced silver-sinter die attach and advanced wafer-thinning process.

All 1,200-V SiC FETs are included in the company’s FET-Jet Calculator, a free online design tool that evaluates the efficiency, component losses, and junction temperature rise of devices used in a variety of AC/DC and isolated/non-isolated DC/DC converter topologies. Single and paralleled devices can be compared under user-specified heat-sinking conditions.

Both onsemi and Infineon beefed up their silicon and SiC power portfolios. Onsemi’s new products unveiled at PCIM include a a TO-Leadless (TOLL) packaged SiC MOSFET, along with a new power bundle for USB-C PD (power delivery) charging above 100 W, and a 1200-V FS7 IGBT.

Onsemi claimed the the industry’s first TOLL-packaged SiC MOSFET. Until recently, SiC devices had been supplied in D2PAK 7-lead packages, which required significantly more space, said onsemi. The TOLL package offers a 30% savings in PCB area over a D2PAK package and with a footprint of 9.90 × 11.68 × 2.3 mm, it offers 60% less volume.

PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductors

(Image: onsemi)

In addition to its smaller size, onsemi said the TOLL package offers better thermal performance and lower package inductance (2 nH) than a D2PAK 7-lead package. The SiC MOSFET also features a Kelvin source configuration that ensures lower gate noise and lower switching losses, including a 60% reduction in turn-on loss (EON) when compared to a device without this configuration. This results in significant improvements in efficiency and power density as well as improved EMI and easier PCB design, said onsemi.

The first SiC MOSFET offered in the TOLL package is the NTBL045N065SC1, targeting applications such as SMPS, server and telecommunication power supplies, solar inverters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and energy storage. The device is suitable for designs that are required to meet the most challenging efficiency standards including ErP and 80 PLUS Titanium.

For the silicon portfolio, onsemi launched a trio of products for USB Power Delivery (PD). The new controllers and driver incorporate features that reduce bill-of-materials content of high efficiency AC/DC power supplies, specifically for load ranges above 100 W.The NCP1345 is a quasi-resonant (QR) flyback controller for high-performance off-line power supplies and USB Type-C PD fast charging applications. The high frequency QR operation (up to 350 kHz) allows the size of magnetic components to be reduced, said onsemi.

The NCP1345 is compatible with the Limited Power Source (LPS) requirement thanks to the built-in constant output current limit while rapid frequency foldback features ensure excellent light load efficiency, reported the company.

The NCP1623 is a small form factor boost power factor correction (PFC) controller rated up to 300 W for USB PD fast charging adapters and computing power supplies. The device operates in critical conduction mode (CrM) at heavy loads before entering discontinuous conduction mode (DCM) as the load decreases. This is said to maximize the efficiency at both nominal and light loads. The NCP1623 can increase efficiency up to 2% at low input voltages and offers a sleep mode of <100 μA, which optimizes the no load input power state.The NCP4307 is high performance driver for synchronous rectification (SR) MOSFETs in multiple high performance switch-mode power supplies topologies. The device will self-supply from an internal 200-V CS pin, enabling high side configuration and low VOUT without requiring an auxiliary supply, said onsemi. The dual VCC pin selects the optimal VCC source to minimize losses, resulting in optimization across a wide range of VOUT applications.

Onsemi also demoed its 7th generation IGBT and diode for the first time. The latest 1200-V FS7 IGBT offers a 20% lower forward bias voltage compared to the previous generation, which improves the efficiency and power density in motor control application. The company also is launching a fast-version FS7 IGBT for medium-high switching frequency applications in solar, UPS, and energy storage, in which the switching loss is 50% improved, reported onsemi. The FS7 portfolio also includes the 750-V and 1200-V VE-Trac Direct automotive-qualified solutions.

Also introducing a range of new silicon and SiC products is Infineon Technologies AG. These include new 2-kV SiC MOSFETs, a 2-kV SiC diode, and the next-generation TRENCHSTOP 1700-V IGBT7 chip.

Infineon Technologies AG has its expanded CoolSiC portfolio with high-voltage solutions that address 1500-VDC applications such as next-generation photovoltaic, EV charging and energy storage systems. These include the 2-kV SiC MOSFETs and 2-kV SiC diode, addressing the challenges in these 1500-VDC-based designs, which include fast switching at high DC voltage.

PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductors

(Image: Infineon Technologies AG)

The new SiC MOSFETs offer low-switching losses and a high-blocking voltage. The 2-kV CoolSiC technology also offers a low drain-source on-resistance (RDS(on)) value and the rugged body diode is suitable for hard switching.

Infineon said the technology enables sufficient overvoltage margin and offers ten times lower FIT rate caused by cosmic ray, compared to 1700-V SiC MOSFETs. In addition, the extended gate-voltage operating range makes the devices easy to use.

The new SiC MOSFET chip is based on Infineon’s advanced SiC MOSFET technology called M1H. The technology was recently introduced with the launch of the of M1H technology 1,200-V SiC MOSFETs. The new technology enables a much larger gate voltage window that improves the on-resistance for a given die size, said Infineon, and the larger gate voltage window provides protection against driver- and layout-related voltage peaks at the gate.

Infineon also offers a range of EiceDRIVER gate drivers with functional isolation of up to 2.3 kV to support the 2-kV SiC MOSFETs. Samples of the 2-kV CoolSiC MOSFETs are available now in EasyPACK 3B and 62-mm modules. This will be followed later in a new high-voltage discrete TO247-PLUS package. Infineon rolled out the new Easy 3B module with the launch of the  MH1 1,200-V CoolSiC MOSFET, which offers a maximum temporary junction temperature of 175˚C for greater overload capability.

Production of the Easy 3B (DF4-19MR20W3M1HF_B11), a power module with 4 boost circuits, is planned for Q3 2022, with the 62-mm module in a half-bridge configuration (3, 4, 6 mΩ) will follow in Q4 2022. The discrete devices using the .XT interconnection technology will be available by the end of 2022.

 Infineon also launched the TRENCHSTOP 1700-V IGBT7 chip in the standard EconoDUAL 3 industrial module package. With the new IGBT7 chip technology, the EconoDUAL 3 claims leading current of 900 A and 750 A and enables an improved power range for inverters. These new IGBT modules target a range of applications including wind turbines, motor drives, and static VAR generators (SVG).

Compared to modules with the previous IGBT4 chipset, the new FF900R17ME7_B11, with the TRENCHSTOP IGBT7 chip, enables up to 40 percent higher inverter output current in the same package size, said Infineon. In addition, the 1700-V IGBT7 modules feature significantly lower static and dynamic losses while addressing applications with static losses in diode chips, added the company.

Other features include enhanced dv/dt controllability, improved diode softness, and an improved FIT rate, which is an an important parameter when working with high DC link voltage, said Infineon.

These new power modules, with an integrated temperature sensor, offer a maximum overload junction temperature of 175°C. They are qualified for industrial applications according to relevant tests of IEC 60747, 60749, and 60068.

In addition to the 1700-V EconoDUAL 3 with 900 A, a 750-A module with a larger diode also has been added to the portfolio. The FF900R17ME7_B11 (900 A), FF750R17ME7D_B11 (750 A), and FF225R17ME7_B11 (225 A) can be ordered now. The roll-out for 300-A to 750-A modules will follow at the end of 2022.

Another silicon power device introduced at PCIM comes from STMicroelectronics. The company unveiled its new STPOWER MDmesh M9 and DM9 N-channel super-junction, multi-drain, silicon power MOSFETs, targeting SMPS in applications such as data-center servers, 5G infrastructure, and flat-panel televisions. The first devices launched are the 650-V STP65N045M9 and 600-V STP60N043DM9. Both offer very low on-resistance (RDS(on)) per unit area, resulting in higher power density and smaller system sizes.

PCIM Europe: More advances for GaN and SiC power semiconductorsST said each device offers the best maximum RDS(on) in its category, at 45 mΩ for the STP65N045M9 and 43 mΩ for the STP60N043DM9. With very low gate charge (Qg), typically 80 nC at 400-V drain voltage, these devices have the best RDS(on) max Qg figure of merit currently available, said the company.

The gate threshold voltage (VGS(th)), typically 3.7 V for the STP65N045M9 and 4.0 V for the STP60N043DM9, minimizes both turn-on and turn-off switching losses compared with the previous MDmesh M5 and M6/DM6 devices. They also feature a very low reverse recovery charge (Qrr) and reverse recovery time (trr), which further contribute to improved efficiency and switching performance.

In addition, ST’s latest high-voltage MDmesh technologies features an additional platinum diffusion process that is said to ensure a fast intrinsic body diode. The peak diode-recovery slope (dv/dt) is greater than earlier processes. All MDmesh DM9 devices can withstand dv/dt up to 120 V/ns at 400 V.

The MDmesh M9 and DM9 devices, the STP65N045M9 and STP60N043DM9, both in a TO-220 power package, are in production and will be available at distributors by the end of Q2 2022. Additional standard surface-mount and through-hole package options will be added later in 2022.

about Efficient Power Conversion (EPC)
GaN Systems Inc.
Infineon Technologies
Navitas Semiconductor
ON Semiconductor
Silanna Semiconductor