11 July 2012
Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of semiconductor solutions, today announced 13 new products in its 7th generation Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) line-up. The new IGBTs include the RJH/RJP65S series for 650 volts (V) and the RJP1CS series for 1250V. They are power semiconductor devices used in systems that convert direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) power and are designed for applications that handle high voltages and large currents, such as power conditioners (power converters) for solar power generators and industrial motors.
The 7th generation technology, based on enhanced thin-wafer processing, sets a low-loss trade-off between conduction, switching losses and robustness capabilities to withstand short-circuit conditions. Compared to the previous 6th generation technology, products series of 600V and 1200V, the 7th generation portfolio has higher voltage ratings of 650V and 1250V to address low temperature-performance requirements and overvoltage-blocking capability. Renesas IGBTs are suitable in motor-control applications. In such cases the device's short-circuit capability is a design-critical selection parameter. The 7th generation IGBT series comes with a 10 microsecond (µs) rated short-circuit tolerance making it suitable for motors in general.
Efforts to boost energy efficiency have been vigorous in the area of equipment that handles high voltages and large currents, such as solar inverters, water-jet pumps and large-current inverter-controlled motors. This has spurred demand for dramatically reduced loss in IGBT products used in the conversion of power from DC to AC for this type of equipment. However, there is a trade-off between saturation voltage, which is key to reducing loss, and the high short-circuit tolerance required in equipment that handles large currents. It has been difficult to achieve low loss along with a high short-circuit tolerance of around 10µs, which is considered essential in applications such as motor drives.
In response, Renesas has developed high-performance IGBTs with the following features:
• Reduced saturation voltage of 1.6V for 650V versions and 1.8V for 1250V versions for better power efficiency: The exclusive ultrathin wafer technology reduced the saturation voltage to 1.6V (typical value) from the 1.8V (typical value) of comparable earlier Renesas products for the 650V versions and to 1.8V from 2.1V for the 1250V versions, a drop of about 12% and 15% in each case. This reduces power loss and contributes to increased efficiency.
• High short-circuit tolerance of 10µs for a higher level of reliability: The high short-circuit tolerance, essential in applications that handle large currents, has been improved from the 8µs range of comparable earlier Renesas products to 10µs or above by optimised cell structure technology. This ensures reliability and performance in systems such as power conditioners for solar power inverters.
• Faster switching: The reverse transfer capacitance (Cres) has been lowered by approximately 10% compared to earlier Renesas products by optimising the surface structure of the device. This contributes to faster switching and makes it possible to build more efficient power converter circuits.
These improvements contribute to lower power loss and more stable operation in applications such as the 3-phase inverter circuits widely used in large-current inverter blocks of solar power inverters or inverter-controlled motors for industrial use.
Renesas also plans to release an enhanced line of kit solutions consisting of the new IGBT products with the Renesas' RL78 and RX family of MCUs for motor and inverter control and photo-couplers for power device drives, among other combinations. Renesas is also preparing reference boards mounted with the new IGBT products to support customers' kit evaluation and system design.
Shipping formats for the new IGBT products are wafer/chip and TO-247A package for RJH65S series. Sample shipments of Renesas' 13 new IGBT products are scheduled to begin in July 2012, priced at $4.30 (USD) for 650V RJP65S06DWA per unit and $5.00 for 1250V RJP1CS06DWA per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in September 2012 and is expected to reach a scale of 500,000 units per month by April 2013.