Silicon carbide: driving package innovation

An article written by Rebecca Pool for CompoundSemiconductor. net – As more and more wide bandgap semiconductors reach electric vehicle markets, industry can expect rapid power module package development, reports Compound Semiconductor.

Earlier this year, Yole Developpment analyst, Hong Lin, revealed how the in-flux of wide bandgap semiconductors to electric and hybrid electric vehicle markets is driving the development of new power module packages.

As she tells Compound Semiconductor, more than twenty automotive companies are already using silicon carbide Schottky barrier diodes or MOSFETs in DC-DC converters, the main inverter and onboard chargers, fueling 29% CAGR from 2017 to 2023.

What’s more, in the short-term, nearly all automotive manufacturers have programmes to implement SiC into the main inverter.

However, all good power devices need a good package to perform, and without a doubt, packaging has long been a bottleneck for wide bandgap device applications.

The packaging of SiC power devices has relied heavily on the same wire bonding approach used in silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs, largely because of its ease-of-use and low production costs.

But while this suits the tens of kHz switching frequencies demonstrated by silicon devices, hit the much higher MHz speeds of SiC systems and parasitic inductances pose a problem.

Parasitic inductance in the power module induces high voltage overshoot and ringing on switching devices, which then increases the device switching loss and EMI emission from the modules.

Couple this with the fact that the operating temperatures of SiC device packages now reach a scorching 225ºC, and the likes of Wolfspeed, ROHM, Infineon and GeneSiC have been busy pioneering new packaging structures to better handle the extreme switching speeds and temperatures… Full article



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