Next generation power distribution architecture replaces high-current relays and fuses

Next generation power distribution architecture replaces high-current relays and fuses

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

The Power PROFET protected switches offer the lowest on-resistance and the highest energy capability on the market and enable the replacement of electromechanical relays and fuses in power distribution and junction boxes up to 40A DC. 

Today’s vehicle power architecture is strongly restricted by the intrinsic limitations of relays and fuses. They are too bulky, often in need of replacement and some of their functionalities are rather limited. Their switching cycle capability, for example, is only about 200,000 cycles. Power PROFET switches address these issues with more than 1,000,000 switching cycles and replacing relays, fuses, relay drivers, cables and connectors. This allows new mounting locations and enables the next generation of decentralized power architectures. 

“The new generations of smarter power distribution architectures will greatly benefit from the high reliability, small form factor and diagnosis capability of our new Power PROFET,” said Andreas Doll, Vice President and & General Manager, Body Power Automotive at Infineon. “With the release of the ultra-low ohmic Power PROFET family we further expand our broad portfolio of high-side switches available to our customers.” 

The Power PROFET switches feature on-resistances down to 1.0mΩ and are specially designed to drive high-current applications. These comprise power feeds of electronic control units (ECUs), auxiliary power outlets, PTC heaters or rear window heaters. The switches are also well-suited for applications with high switching cycles and high energy requirements such as starter relays in “start-stop” systems and electric brake vacuum pumps. Power PROFET switches improve vehicle system reliability. They offer integrated protection functions and diagnostics functionality including, for example, short circuit protection and over-temperature protection. 

POwer PROFET switches increase energy efficiency as power losses are reduced by a factor of up to 7. They feature less than 2W dissipation while conducting 30A DC. Further power management is supported through integrated current sensing and pulse-width modulation capability. In addition, Power PROFET switches offer a benchmark energy handling capability of up to 3,000mJ for single pulses and 550mJ for repetitive pulses. For most applications, this eliminates the need for a free-wheeling current recirculation path and thus reduces the system cost. 

The switches provide an outstanding protection performance of more than 1,000,000 short-circuit cycles, achieving Grade A according to AEC-Q100. In case of a single over-current event, a re-start strategy can be implemented via a software reset. At the system level, Power PROFET switches enable a more accurate system sizing and can significantly simplify the wire harness architecture by reducing the lengths of many wires or removing them completely. Representatives of the car industry expect a higher single-digit euro system cost saving in the power distribution system including the wire harness using the Power PROFET with simplified vehicle production processes. 

The Power PROFET family consists of four pin-compatible switches controlling currents from 20A to 40A DC. They share the same feature set with only the on-state resistance R DS(ON) varying with 1.0mΩ, 1.5mΩ, 2.0mΩ, or 2.5mΩ for each device. The two lowest ohmic devices of the family, the BTS50010-TAD with 1.0mΩ and the BTS50015-1TAD with 1.5mΩ, are already available for high-volume. Further Power PROFET switches start mass production in early 2017. 

To support design activities, Infineon provides a Power PROFET evaluation board. Evaluation software, user’s manual, application notes and further information are available at

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