Si IGBTs in a small footprint provide low power losses

Si-IGBTs (silicon insulated gate bipolar transistors) which provide low power losses have been developed by Renesas Electronics in a small footprint.

AE5-generation IGBTs are aimed at next generation electric vehicle (EV) inverters. The silicon based AE5 process for IGBTs achieve a 10 per cent reduction in power losses compared to the current generation AE4 products. According to Renesas, the power savings that will help EV developers save battery power and increase driving range. The products are approximately 10 per cent smaller and robust.

The new IGBTs improve performance and safety as modules by minimising parameter variations among the IGBTs and provide stability when operating IGBTs in parallel.

Renesas has announced four products targeting 400 to 800V inverters, the 750V withstand voltage (220A and 300A) and 1200V withstand voltage (150A and 200A). They have a steady performance throughout the operating junction temperature (Tj) range from -40 to +175 degrees C.

The Si IGBTs are claimed to have the industry’s highest performance level with an on-voltage Vce (saturation voltage) of 1.3V. This is key to minimising power loss, said Renesas.

They also exhibit 10 per cent higher current density compared to conventional products and small chip size (100mm2/300A) optimised for low power losses and high input resistance.

Other features are stable parallel operation through a reduction in parameter variations to VGE(off) to ±0.5V. The IGBTs also maintain reverse bias safe operating area (RBSOA) with a maximum Ic current pulse of 600A at 175 degrees C junction temperatures, and a robust short circuit withstand time of four microseconds at 400V.

The 50 per cent reduction in the temperature dependence of gate resistance (Rg) minimises switching losses at high temperatures, spike voltage at low temperatures and short circuit withstand time, said the company.

The IGBT is available as a bare die (wafer).

Renesas also offers the xEV inverter reference design that combines an IGBT, microcontroller, power management IC (PMIC), gate driver IC, and fast recovery diode (FRD). The company also offers the xEV inverter kit, which is a hardware implementation of the reference design. In addition, Renesas provides 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.

Samples of the 750-withstand voltage version with 300A are available from Renesas today.  Mass production of the AE5-generation IGBTs will begin in the first half of 2023 on Renesas’ 200- and 300-mm wafer lines. Production will ramp up in the first half of 2024 at the company’s 300mm wafer fab in Japan.

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