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Renesas Launches New-Gen Si IGBTs for EV Inverters

Renesas Electronics Corp. has developed a brand new generation of Si-IGBTs (silicon insulated gate bipolar transistors) that'll be offered in a small footprint while providing low power losses. Targeted at next-gen electric vehicle (EVs) inverters, AE5-generation IGBTs will be mass produced starting in the first half of 2023 on Renesas' 200- and 300-mm wafer lines in the company's factory in Naka, Japan.

Additionally, Renesas will ramp up production starting in the very first half of 2024 at its new power semiconductor 300-mm wafer fab in Kofu, Japan to meet the growing interest in power semiconductor products.

The silicon based AE5 process for IGBTs achieve a 10% reduction in power losses compared to the current-generation AE4 products, an electrical savings that will help EV developers save battery power and increase driving range. Additionally, the new products are approximately 10% smaller while keeping high robustness.

The new Renesas devices achieve the industry's highest level of performance for IGBTs by optimally balancing low power loss and robustness trade offs. Moreover, the brand new IGBTs significantly improve performance and safety as modules by minimizing parameter variations one of the IGBTs and providing stability when operating IGBTs in parallel. These features provide engineers greater flexibility to design smaller inverters that achieve high performance.

\”Demand for automotive power semiconductors is rapidly growing, as EVs be accessible,” said Katsuya Konishi, Vice President of Renesas’ Power System Business Division. \”Renesas’ IGBTs provide highly reliable, robust power solutions that build on our experience of manufacturing automotive-grade power products for the last seven years. With the latest devices potential in mass production, we are providing optimal features and cost performance for mid-range EV inverters which are expected to grow rapidly later on.”

Key Options that come with the New-Generation IGBTs (AE5)

  • Four products targeting 400-800V inverters: 750V withstand voltage (220A and 300A) and 1200V withstand voltage (150A and 200A)
  • Steady performance through the operating junction temperature (Tj) range from -40°C to 175°C
  • Industry’s highest performance level with an on-voltage Vce (saturation voltage) of 1.3V, a vital value for minimizing power loss
  • 10% higher current density when compared with conventional products and small chip size (100mm2/300A) optimized for low power losses and input resistance
  • Stable parallel operation by reducing parameter variations to VGE(off) to ±0.5V
  • Maintains reverse bias safe operating area (RBSOA) with a maximum Ic current pulse of 600A at 175°C junction temperatures, along with a highly robust short circuit withstand time of 4us at 400V.
  • 50% decrease in the temperature dependence of gate resistance (Rg). This minimizes switching losses at high temperatures, spike voltage at low temperatures and short circuit withstand time, supporting high end designs.
  • Available like a bare die (wafer)
  • Enables a decrease in inverter power losses, improving power efficiency by up to 6% compared to the current AE4 process at the same current density, allowing EVs to drive longer distances and use fewer batteries.

Inverter Solution for EVs

In EVs, the motors that power vehicles are controlled by inverters. Switching devices such as IGBTs are critical in minimizing power consumption for EVs, as inverters convert DC power to the AC energy that electric vehicle motors require. To assist developers, Renesas offers the xEV Inverter Reference Solution, a working hardware reference design that combines an IGBT, microcontroller, power management IC (PMIC), gate driver IC, and fast recovery diode (FRD).

Renesas also offers the xEV Inverter Kit, that is a hardware implementation of the reference design. In addition, Renesas supplies a motor parameter calibration oral appliance the xEV Inverter Application Model and Software, which mixes an application model and sample software for manipulating the motor. These tools and support programs from Renesas are designed to help customers simplify their software development efforts.

Renesas plans to add the new-generation IGBTs to these software and hardware development kits to allow even better power efficiency and performance in a smaller footprint.