Renesas rolls new generation Si IGBTs for EV inverters

Renesas rolls new generation Si IGBTs for EV inverters

New Products |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Renesas has announced the development of a new generation of Si-IGBTs (Silicon Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors) which will be offered in a small footprint while providing low power losses.

Aimed at next generation electric vehicle (EVs) inverters, Renesas’ AE5-generation IGBTs will be mass produced starting in the first half of 2023 on the company’s 200- and 300-mm wafer lines at the company’s factory in Naka, Japan. Additionally, the semiconductor company plans to ramp up production starting in the first half of 2024 at its new power semiconductor 300-mm wafer fab in Kofu, Japan to meet the growing demand for power semiconductor products.

The silicon based AE5 process for IGBTs achieve a 10% reduction in power losses compared to the current-generation AE4 products, a power savings that will help EV developers save battery power and increase driving range. In addition, the new components are approximately 10% smaller while maintaining high robustness. The devices achieve the industry’s highest level of performance for IGBTs by optimally balancing low power loss and robustness trade offs, the vendor claims. Moreover, the new IGBTs improve performance and safety as modules by minimizing parameter variations among 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 become more widely available,” said Katsuya Konishi, Vice President of Renesas’ Power System Business Division. “Renesas’ IGBTs provide highly reliable, robust power solutions that build on our experience in manufacturing automotive-grade power products for the last seven years. With the latest devices soon to be in mass production, we are providing optimal features and cost performance for mid-range EV inverters that are expected to grow rapidly in the future.”

With its new IGBT generation, Renesas targets 400-800V inverters. They offer steady performance throughout the operating junction temperature (Tj) range from -40°C to 175°C. The new IGBTs also offer the industry’s highest performance level with an on-voltage Vce (saturation voltage) of 1.3V, a key value for minimizing power loss. With their overall features, they enable a reduction in inverter power losses, improve power efficiency by up to 6% compared to the current AE4 process at the same current density, and thus allow EVs to drive longer distances and use fewer batteries.

The new IGBTs are also available as bare die (wafer).

Samples of the 750-withstand voltage version with 300A are available from Renesas today. Additional versions are planned for future release.

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