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ST's SiC MOSFETs enable energy efficient designs

Posted: 14 Mar 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share


STMicroelectronics has introduced what it describes as an advanced product line that allows power supply designers to improve energy efficiency in applications that include solar inverters and electric vehicles, enterprise computing and industrial motor drives.

The high-voltage silicon carbide (SiC) power MOSFET has achieved the industry's highest temperature rating of 200°boasted ST. SiC properties help save at least 50 per cent of the energy normally wasted passing through conventional silicon power transistors. The devices can also be physically smaller for a high breakdown voltage. This technology is seen as essential for continued improvement in system energy efficiency, miniaturization and cost.


SiC MOSFETs are also used in solar inverters, as an alternative for conventional high-voltage silicon IGBTs to convert the DC output from the panel into high-voltage AC feeding into the mains supply with no special drive circuitry required. In addition, by operating at higher frequencies than IGBTs, SiC MOSFETs allow designers to miniaturize other components in the power supply thereby reducing cost and size as well as enhancing energy efficiency.

In electric vehicles, SiC is expected to help significantly increase the energy efficiency and reduce the size of traction systems. The increased temperature capability of ST's SiC devices, compared to ordinary silicon and competitors' SiC MOSFETs, will help simplify vehicle cooling system design, ST added.

The 1.2kV SiC power MOSFET, the SCT30N12, is sampling now and will enter volume production by September. It is available in ST's proprietary HiP247 package, which has an industry-standard outline and is optimized for high thermal performance. The guide price is $35 in quantities of 1000 units.

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