Visit the APEC Power Electronics Conference in Cyberspace!
It's only been a little more than two weeks since the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC 2020) was cancelled (a few days before its doors were supposed to open), but the event's organizers have already made heroic efforts to begin putting most of the content from the conference sessions online through a special web portal application called "EventScribe." Unfortunately, that material is currently only available to people who registered (and paid) to attend the event. I’m making inquiries to see if, in light of the extraordinary circumstances, at least some of the material can be made available to the rest of the power technology community.
In the meantime, several companies are inviting everyone to come see what they had intended to share at APEC by visiting one of their "virtual exhibit environments" or more conventional websites, specially created to showcase their latest developments. So far, four companies have checked in to announce their cyber-exhibits, although I expect there will be at least a few more in the near future. For further details, check out the article "Greetings From Virtual APEC,” or follow the links to the cyber-exhibits created by Power Integrations, Texas Instruments, Infineon, and GaN Systems.
Synchronous-Rectification Controller Offers Higher Efficiency, Lower BOM
The STMicroelectronics SRK1001 secondary-side synchronous-rectification controller introduces adaptive features that cut bill-of-materials costs, minimize circuit size, and simplify the design of power adapters, chargers, USB Power Delivery outlets, and lighting power supplies based on flyback topologies. The controller can be used for supplies with output voltages up to 24 V operating in either quasi-resonant (QR) mode or mixed continuous/discontinuous current-mode (CCM/DCM) fixed-frequency operation at up to 300 kHz.
Designed for fast turn-on with minimum delay, the SRK1001 uses adaptive turn-off logic to maximize synchronous-rectification MOSFET conduction time for optimum efficiency with minimal switching losses. Its integrated compensation circuitry eliminates parasitic-inductance effects without the need for additional discrete components. It also ensures high efficiency at light loads by entering low-consumption mode when synchronous rectification is no longer beneficial. Suitable for applications with output voltage up to 24 V, and capable of maintaining regulation down to 2-V output in CCM, the SRK1001 maintains a wide supply-voltage range of 4.5 to 32 V. The output can sink up to 1 A and source up to 0.6 A to control the gate of the external N-channel synchronous-rectification MOSFET.
System-Level SiC Power Modules Feature Improved Efficiency, Size, and Reliability
Microchip Technology Inc. expanded its portfolio of silicon-carbide (SiC) power modules with a new family of lighter, smaller, and more efficient products. The commercially qualified Schottky barrier diode (SBD)-based power modules integrate multiple SiC diode die onto a variety of substrate and baseplate materials for improved switching efficiency, high reliability, and a smaller system footprint. The modules are available for 700-, 1,200- and 1,700-V applications in topologies that include dual diode, full bridge, phase leg, dual common cathode and 3-phase bridge.
The SBD modules offer excellent avalanche performance that allows system designers to reduce the need for snubber circuits, and body-diode stability that enables designs to use the devices' internal body diode without long-term degradation. The complete SiC portfolio is supported by a range of SiC Spice models, SiC driver board reference designs, and a reference design for a 30-kW 3-phase Vienna power-factor-correction (PFC) circuit. The latest version includes Microchip's AgileSwitch family of digital programmable gate drivers to further streamline the development process. They are available in production volumes in variety of die and package options. For additional information, visit Microchip’s SiC product portfolio website.
SiC MOSFET Driver Achieves AEC-Q100 Automotive Qualification
Power Integrations announced that its SIC118xKQ and SIC1181KQ (750 V) SCALE-iDriver devices are now certified to AEC-Q100 for automotive use. These high-efficiency, single-channel gate drivers for silicon-carbide (SiC) MOSFETs can be configured to support gate-drive voltage requirements of commonly used SiC MOSFETs and feature sophisticated safety and protection features.
Both devices are optimized to drive SiC MOSFETs in automotive applications, exhibiting rail-to-rail output, fast gate switching speed, unipolar supply voltage, integrated power and voltage management, and reinforced isolation. Critical safety features include VDS monitoring, SENSE readout, primary and secondary undervoltage lockout (UVLO), current-limited gate drive, and advanced active clamping (AAC) that facilitates safe operation and soft turn-off under fault conditions. AAC in combination with VDS monitoring ensures safe turn-off in less than 2 µs during short-circuit conditions.
Housed in a compact eSOP package, the new single-channel SIC118xKQ gate drivers provide up to 8 A and suit SiC MOSFETs with standard gate-emitter voltages from +15 V, with various negative voltages in the range from −3 to −15 V. Available now, they’re priced at $5.39 in 10,000 piece quantities. Technical information is available from the Power Integrations website.
Expanded Power MOSFET Family Targets 48-V Auto Apps, Particularly Mild Hybrids
In anticipation of significant growth in automotive 48-V systems, Infineon Technologies AG is adding to its portfolio of power devices, beginning with new packages for its 80- and 100-V MOSFETs that meet those applications' more demanding requirements. The company's primary focus is on the systems within so-called "mild hybrid" vehicles, in which the higher operating voltage can improve fuel efficiency while reducing costs.
Infineon cites applications such as starter generators, battery switches, and dc-dc converters, where high power densities are required as ideal places for the expanded members of its TOLx package family. The family is based on the established TOLL (TO-Leadless, 10 × 12 mm) product for standard copper substrate PCBs and currents up to 300 A. The family also includes the TOLG (TO Leads Gullwing Design) package with identical footprint for insulated metal substrates (IMS) with aluminum core. To mitigate the stress caused by the different thermal expansion coefficients of aluminum and copper, the TOLG package is equipped with gullwing leads.
Infineon plans on expanding the TOLx family TOLT (TO Leads Top-Side Cooling) package. It enables heat dissipation through top-side cooling via the top of the package instead of via the PCB. This allows for an increase in power of more than 20% and reduces the necessary cooling effort on the board. Volume production of TOLT products is planned for 2021. Further information is available at www.infineon.com/automotivemosfet.
I believe that Infineon has identified an important emerging market in 48-V automotive systems, although I'm a bit worried that improved mild hybrids will slow the market's transition to all-electric vehicles for most light-duty applications. But they will also make it easier for the next generation of "full" hybrids and EVs to move to 48-V systems, allowing them to benefit from the same cost and efficiency advantages.