Hybrid power drive module reduces electric aircraft weight

In order to reduce development time for electric aviation applications and the weight of the aircraft, Microchip has developed an integrated and configurable three-phase power module which can be customised using silicon carbide (SiC) or silicon (Si). 

The hybrid power drive module is the first variant in a range of power devices. Microchip will announce 11 more, with SiC MOSFETs or IGBTs.  

The hybrid power drive modules are integrated power semiconductor devices that reduce the number of components and simplify the overall system design, said Microchip. The configurable power devices include a three-bridge topology that are available in SiC or Si semiconductor technologies. They are offered in a compact design and low weight and profile to help reduce the weight and size of electric aircraft. 

They also include auxiliary power devices that facilitate an inrush current limit function. Optional add-on capabilities include soft start, solenoid interface drive, regenerative brake switch and thermal sensors for external monitoring circuitry usage. The power modules also facilitate high switching frequency power generation, which enables smaller and more efficient systems.

The standard voltage of the modules ranges from 650 to 1,200V, with the option to customise up to 1,700V on request. The device is designed for low inductances for high power density with power and signal connectors that are solderable directly on the user’s PCB.

The hybrid power drive modules are easily configurable with other Microchip products and parts, such as FPGAs, memory ICs, motor drive controllers and motor drive monitoring ICs.  

Microchip will provide detailed specification sheets and dedicated support from a knowledgeable engineering team member to help customers with every step of their design.

The hybrid power drive module is available for order in production quantities now. 

Microchip Technology provides smart, connected and secure embedded control solutions. Its development tools and comprehensive product portfolio enable customers to create optimal designs which reduce risk while lowering total system cost and time to market. The company’s solutions serve customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defence, communications and computing markets. 

The company is headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, USA.


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