Electronic Design

Power Pulse Quickens At PCIM 2009

The PCIM Conference and Exhibition in Nuremberg has always been a focal point for the presentation of innovative conference papers and the presentation of new power electronics technology. This year was no exception.

One of the first things you notice about the PCIM Conference and Exhibition in Nuremberg Germany is this is a show with a clearly defined technical heart. Rather than just a random collection of exhibiting companies, this event is more of an intelligence forum for the power electronics community.

One of the key elements that creates this technical heart is the conference proceedings. This year about 250 companies attended PCIM and about 150 technical conference papers were presented on subjects covering: industrial electronics, automotive engineering, office and data management technologies, computers and communications, medical technologies, telecommunications and Energy management

So what was new at PCIM this year? Hitachi Europe chose the event to launch its new E2 series IGBT technology (Figure 1). A new silicon process developed by the company that is claimed to yield more efficient and effective IGBTs. How so?

These new IGBTs benefit from a newly developed fine pattern silicon process which enables the active cell area to be increased. The product benefits derived from this give the IGBTs increased current capability and improved short circuit durability, claims Hitachi.

Space saving converter
During PCIM I spoke with Intersil  about its newly introduced ZL2008, a high-performance synchronous step-down DC-DC converter with pin-strap compensation and current sharing.  It uses Zilker’s patented Digital-DC technology and is designed for digital power supply module and system designers who need easy-to-use board-level power supply configuration.

The compensation and transient response of the ZL2008 can be optimized for load current and output capacitance by adjusting resistor pin-straps.  Current sharing of up to eight devices in parallel with individual phase enable/disable pins is easily configurable.

Advanced power management features such as digital soft-start delay and ramp, sequencing, tracking and margining are fast and easy to implement, says Intersil and  power supply reliability and availability can be improved through real-time monitoring using the I2C/SMBus interface with the PMBus protocol.

The ZL2008 includes the Digital-DC bus for seamless interoperability between Zilker Labs devices to simplify power and fault management.

The ZL2008 synchronous buck converter has integrated 3A MOSFET drivers that operate on single supply from 3V to 14V. Output voltages range from 0.54V to 5.5V with ±1% output voltage accuracy and 200kHz to 1.4MHz operation. In addition, there is current sharing with individual phase enable/disable pins, optional I²C/SMBus configuration, and external clock synchronization.

Power management features include coincidental/ratiometric tracking, power up/down sequencing, voltage margining, and voltage and current monitoring as well as internal temperature monitoring.

Flexible MOSFET driver
Attending the PCIM event from its HQ in El Segundo, California was power management specialists International Rectifier (IR)
IR was showing off its newly developed AUIRS2003S 200V IC which is designed for low- mid- and high-voltage automotive use, including automotive pre-charge switch and stepper drives and DC-DC converters applications. It can also be used battery management apps.

Qualified to AEC-Q100 standards, the AUIRS2003S (Figure 2) is a flexible high-speed power MOSFET driver with dependent high- and low-side referenced output channels that are designed to cope with harsh automotive environments and hot under-the-hood applications. The output drivers feature a high pulse current buffer stage designed for minimum driver cross-conduction while the floating channel can be used to drive an N-channel power MOSFET in the high-side configuration operating up to 200V. 

The new device also offers low quiescent current that enables a low-cost bootstrap power supply for the high-side circuitry.

 Commenting on the product, Henning Hauenstein, vice president of IR’s Automotive Products, said: “With its host of protection features, the AUIRS2003S is designed to provide a rugged and flexible driver IC solution specifically designed to meet the challenge of automotive powertrain and battery management applications,”

The AUIRS2003S features high-side output in phase with the input signal and low-side output out of phase with the input signal. The new device accepts input logic levels of 3.3V, 5V and 15V with standard CMOS or LSTTL outputs and offers a comprehensive set of protection features including under-voltage lockout (UVLO), deadtime protection, and negative voltage spike (Vs) immunity to protect against catastrophic events during high-current switching and short circuit conditions.

Non-invasive measurement
Regular attendee at the event LEM introduced the ITL 4000-S current transducer for non-invasive measurement of currents up to 4000ARMS in conductors of up to 268mm diameter (Figure 3). The new transducer allows the isolated measurement of AC, DC and pulsed currents, up to three times the nominal value for peak measurement at frequencies up to 50kHz (+/-1dB).

Using closed-loop Fluxgate technology, highly accurate measurements of +/-0.1% of IPN are achieved over the operating temperature range from -40°C to +70°C. This high level of accuracy also allows the measurement of small DC currents in the presence of large AC components, which is particularly useful in applications such as transformer protection. For example, it is possible to monitor +/-10A DC over a 4000ARMS AC current with an uncertainty of +/-1A over an operating temperature range from -25°C to +50°C. The technology also offers very good offset and gain thermal drift performance.

The large aperture of the ITL 4000-S makes it particularly suitable for measurements on high-voltage DC systems, which use large-diameter cables. It features high insulation for working voltages up to 1.5kVRMS in accordance with the EN 50178 standard.

The mechanical design of the transducer offers simplified access to the electronics for easy maintenance. This often avoids the need to disconnect the conductors in the final application.

The ITL 4000-S operates from a bipolar +/-24V supply, provides an analogue current output and is suitable for all industrial applications as qualified against the EN 50178 industrial standard. It is particularly suitable for DC current control in transformers, or in offshore wind turbines for DC power transmission, or for leakage current measurement in any application with high primary currents.

Keep your motor running
Toshiba Electronics Europe (TEE) unveiled its new range of power MOSFETs that is optimised for motors used in fans, pumps and other automotive motion control applications.

The new MOSFETs combine on-resistance and input capacitance ratings with a package design that offers good thermal dissipation and power cycling capabilities.

Available with maximum voltage (VDSS) and current (ID) ratings of 60V and 150A, Toshiba’s new MOSFETs (Figure 4) are based on the company’s latest U-MOS trench semiconductor technology. This technology contributes to typical RDS(ON) specifications as low as 1.7mΩ and typical input capacitances (Ciss) down to 4500pF. As a result, claims the company, the devices offer the industry’s smallest RDS(ON) gate charge (Qg) ‘figure of merit.’

All of the new MOSFETs are supplied in Toshiba’s TO220SM(W) package. This uses copper connectors and a wide source terminal to drive down RDS(ON) and package inductance, reduce thermal resistance, and ensure high current carrying capacity. The package is qualified to AEC-Q101 at a channel temperature of 175ºC. A thickness of 3.7mm means that it is 21% thinner than existing TO-220SM package technology.

Toshiba’s current line-up of TO220SM(W) automotive MOSFETs comprises five devices with respective current/voltage ratings of -60V/-120A (TJ120F06J3); 40V/100A (TK100F04K3); 40V/150A (TK150F04K3); 60V/100A (TK100F06K3); and 60V/130A (TK130F06K3). Typical RDS(ON) ratings range from 1.7mΩ to 5.5 mΩ, while typical Ciss and Qg ratings range from 4500pF and 98nC to 11500pF and 258nC.

Finally, Fairchild Semiconductor says it has addressed a need in the high brightness (HB) light emitting diodes (LED) market with its primary side regulation (PSR) pulse-width modulation (PWM) controllers that the company believes simplifies design and cuts board space.

The FAN100 and FSEZ1016A are EZSWITCH PSR PWM controllers that integrate a primary-side regulation PWM controller with a power MOSFET. Through this integration, these controllers achieve an accurate constant current (CC) through their integral proprietary Truecurrent technology and tight constant voltage (CV) without using secondary-side feedback circuitry.

By tightening the constant current over a voltage range, the same circuit can accommodate different numbers of LED units in a string. With this level of integration, these PSR PWM controllers conserve board space, accommodating the form factor of lamp cases that continue to diminish in size.

By tightening the constant current over a voltage range, the same circuit can accommodate different numbers of LED units in a string. With this level of integration, these PSR PWM controllers conserve board space, accommodating the form factor of lamp cases that continue to diminish in size.

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