IGBTs Minimize Power Loss in Power Conversion Systems Such as Power Conditioners for Solar Power Generation Systems and UPS Products

March 10, 2016

TOKYO, Japan, March 10, 2016 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of six new products in the 8th-generation G8H Series of insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) lineup that minimize conversion losses in power conditioners for solar power generation systems and reduce inverter applications in uninterruptable power supply (UPS) systems. Six new product versions, rated at 650 V/40 A, 50 A, and 75 A, and at 1,250 V/25 A, 40 A, and 75 A, are being released. Renesas has also achieved the industry’s first TO-247 plus package for a 1,250V IGBT with built-in diode, which offers system manufacturers greater circuit configuration flexibility.

Drawing on its expertise in designing low-loss IGBTs in the power converter field, Renesas Electronics optimized the 8th-generation IGBTs, adopting an exclusive trench gate configuration (Note 1) in the process structure. Compared to previous IGBT generations, these devices provide faster switching performance, an essential feature to the IGBT performance index, while also reducing conduction loss by lowering the saturation voltage (Vce (sat), Note 2). Additionally, the performance index (Note 3) for the 8th-generation devices has been improved by up to 30 percent compared to previous 7th-generation IGBTs, contributing to lower power loss and better overall performance for user systems. These updates are essential for key markets in the power industry focusing on photovoltaic (PV) inverters, UPS, industrial motor drives and power factor correction (PFC).

In solar power generation systems, there is inevitably some amount of power loss when the direct current (DC) generated from sunlight by solar panels converts to alternating current (AC) by passing through an inverter circuit. Since the majority of this power loss occurs within the power devices used, reducing IGBT power loss has a direct positive effect on the power generation performance of user systems. Similarly, for UPS systems in server rooms and data centers, power must constantly pass through a power converter circuit to monitor if the power supply has been interrupted, meaning that a steady power loss arises whenever the system is operating. IGBT performance is key to reducing this power loss.

Key features of the new 8th-generation IGBTs are:

(1) Faster switching, industry-leading ultra-low power loss features ideal for inverter circuits

Renesas utilized its long-standing low-loss IGBT design expertise to develop an exclusive trench gate configuration. Using state-of-the-art process technology, the new IGBTs can achieve both fast switching performance and low saturation voltage (Vce (sat)) features, which determine the performance index of IGBT devices. As result, the performance index is improved by up to 30 percent. In addition, Renesas analyzed the elements contributing to power loss in inverter circuits and designed the new devices to minimize conduction and switching loss. This substantially reduces IGBT power loss, which accounts for more than half of the overall power loss in power converter circuits.

(2) Eliminated external gate resistors thanks to low switching noise

In IGBTs, there has been a tradeoff between noise characteristics and switching speed. The 8th-generation IGBTs generate substantially less gate noise during switching, enabling system manufacturers to eliminate the gate resistors previously needed to reduce noise. This contributes to a reduced component count and a more compact design.

(3) TO-247 package with excellent heat dissipation; operation guaranteed at high temperatures up to 175°C

The underside of the TO-247 package is formed from metal, allowing heat generated by IGBT power loss to be conveyed directly to the package exterior for superior heat dissipation performance. The new devices are compatible with high temperatures up to 175°C, so they can be used in locations that tend to heat up due to the transmission of large power levels. This helps to improve the performance and reliability of user systems.

(4) Industry’s-First 1,250 V IGBT with built-in diode in a TO-247 plus discrete-package version available for 75 A current band rated at 100C

Previously, devices in the 75 A current band were generally incorporated into modules employing large packages due to considerations such as heat, noise, and operating quality. With the 8th-generation IGBT technology that achieves low loss and smaller chip size, Renesas realizes a 1,250 V IGBT with built-in diode in a discrete TO-247 plus package as first in the industry. By using discrete-package devices in the 75 A current band rated at 100C, system manufacturers can enjoy the increased circuit configuration flexibility that only discrete devices provide and can easily increase the power capacity of their systems.

The fast switching performance of the new 8th-generation G8H Series devices can be put to good use even in applications other than inverter circuits, providing excellent performance for step-up circuits in converters, for example.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of the 8th-generation IGBTs are available now. System manufacturers can select the product version that best matches the inverter circuit type and required output capacity. Pricing varies per product version, for example, samples of the RBN50H65T1GPQ-A0 650 V/50 A product version are priced at US$3.00 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in September 2016 and is expected to reach a volume of 600,000 units per month by March 2017. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

Refer to the separate sheet (PDF: 59 KB) for the main specifications of the new 8th-generation IGBTs.

For more information on the 8th-generation IGBTs, please visit: https://www.renesas.com/en/products/power-and-discrete/insulated-gate-bipolar-transistors/1603-igbt.html

(Note 1) The trench gate configuration involves the formation of deep, narrow grooves (trenches) in the chip surface, followed by the formation of MOSFET gates on the sides of the trenches. This permits a higher cell density and contributes to lower on-resistance.

(Note 2) The saturation voltage (Vce (sat)) is the most important index of IGBT performance. It indicates the voltage between the collector and emitter in the operating state. The lower the value, the less the conduction loss when current is flowing to the element.

(Note 3) The performance index represents switching loss × Vce (sat).

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, infrastructure, and IoT applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

(Remarks) All registered trademarks or trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.

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