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Microchip’s 1700 V SiC MOSFETs are an alternative to Silicon IGBTs. This earlier technology required designers to compromise performance and use complicated topologies due to restrictions on switching frequency. In addition, the size and weight of power electronic systems are bloated by transformers, which can only be reduced in size by increasing switching frequency.

The new SiC product family MSC750SMA170B/B4/S allows engineers to move beyond IGBTs, instead using two-level topologies with reduced part count, greater efficiency and simpler control schemes. These devices are available, depending on volume, around $2.96 in average. Housed in TO-247, TO-247-4L, D3PAK and die current capability varies between 6 A and 68 A and on-resistance between 35 mΩ and 750 mΩ.

Features include gate oxide stability where Microchip observed no shift in threshold voltage even after an extended 100,000 pulses in repetitive unclamped inductive switching (R-UIS) tests. R-UIS tests also showed excellent avalanche ruggedness and parametric stability and with gate oxide stability, demonstrated reliable operation over the life of the system. The degradation-free body diode can eliminate the need to use an external diode. A short-circuit withstand capability comparable to IGBTs survives harmful electrical transients. A flatter on-resitance curve over junction temperature from 0 to 175°C enables the power system to operate at greater stability in temperature sensitivity applications.

“System developers in the transportation segment are continuously asked to fit more people and goods into vehicles that cannot be made larger,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete product business unit. “One of the best ways to help achieve this is through the enormous reductions in size and weight of power conversion equipment that utilizes high-voltage silicon carbide power devices. These same advantages for transportation bring similar benefits to many other industry applications.”

Microchip streamlines the adoption of its technology with a family of AgileSwitch® digital programmable gate drivers and wide range of discrete and power module packaging, available in standard and customizable formats. These gate drivers help speed development from benchtop to production.

Digital programmable gate drivers

The AgileSwitch family of digital programmable gate drivers was designed to address the critical challenges that emerge in operating SiC and IGBT power devices at high switching frequencies. They are optimized for transportation and industrial applications including heavy-duty vehicles, auxiliary power units, charging, storage, inverters and induction heating.

AgileSwitch gate drivers feature Augmented Switching™ technology and robust short-circuit protection and are fully software configurable. They can switch up to 200 kHz and provide up to seven unique fault and monitoring conditions, including temperature and high-voltage monitoring. These digital programmable gate drivers provide a superior solution than standard analog drivers because they prevent false faults, mitigate ringing and reduce Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), overshoot and undershoot in SiC and IGBT power devices.

Changes to turn-off profiles are set through an Intelligent Configuration Tool (ICT) which is supplied with the driver. On a separate ICT page are protection settings for short circuit conditions, another area where the Agile-Switch family of gate drivers offers enhanced intelligence. During a short circuit event, the gate driver triggers a turn-off profile different from that of normal turn-off; this can include additional software-configurable voltage step-down levels and durations.

Other Microchip SiC products include families of MOSFETs and Schottky Barrier diodes at 700 V and 1200 V, available in bare die and a variety of discrete and power module packages. Microchip unifies in-house silicon carbide die production with low-inductance power packaging and digital programmable gate drivers.

Silicon carbide SPICE simulation models compatible with Microchip’s MPLAB® Mindi™ analog simulator provide system developers with resources to simulate switching characteristics before committing to hardware design. The Intelligent Configuration Tool (ICT) enables designers to model efficient SiC gate driver settings for digital programmable gate drivers.

The company’s system solutions also include a portfolio of microcontrollers (MCUs), analog and peripherals, and communication, wireless and security technology. AS



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