Cree and Powerex Jointly to Develop New SiC Power Switches for Next-Generation Military Systems

Cree, Inc. announces it will work with both the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Propulsion Directorate and high-power module pioneer Powerex, Inc., to develop a demonstration dual switch 1200-volt, 100-amp power module featuring all-SiC semiconductors and capable of operating at junction temperatures up to 200 degrees C. The combination of advanced SiC devices and innovative package design allows the module to operate at temperatures beyond those achievable with a silicon IGBT-based module.

Development of the SiC power module was funded by AFRL. It features Cree high-current SiC MOSFETs and SiC Schottky diodes, which were developed under contracts from Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The SiC MOSFETs are normally-off devices and have drive requirements equivalent to the silicon IGBT devices they replace, making the SiC module a potential drop-in replacement for most applications. The all-SiC power switch module can be an enabling technology for next-generation military aircraft and future Army combat systems. This combination of Cree SiC devices and Powerex packaging technology could also lead to smaller, lighter-weight systems with reduced cooling requirements, while simultaneously offering increased reliability and overload capacity due to its high-temperature operation capability.

When compared to a silicon IGBT module of equal rating, and operating at a junction temperature of 150 degrees C, the SiC MOSFET-based module has 38% lower conduction losses and 60% lower switching losses for a total power-loss reduction of 54% when operated at 20 kHz. The combination of both low conduction and switching losses make this module ideal for any application where high efficiency is critical—such as solar energy power inverters and electric drives, and power conversion for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The all-SiC module has been jointly developed using materials and assembly processes common in the industry, offering a clear path to volume production. The module can also be easily scaled for higher currents and the layout can be modified for other switch configurations.

Dr. John Palmour, Cree chief technology officer, power components and RF devices, indicates that these 1200-Volt, 100-amp SiC MOSFET modules represent the next level of integration for SiC power devices. They represent a critical milestone in the technology progression toward high-reliability, energy-efficient power conditioning and control. Further, the component-efficiency advantage of this technology is highly relevant in the current energy-conscious environment and could translate to significant energy savings for hybrid and electric vehicles, solar power inverters, and industrial motor drive systems.

Dr. James Scofield, the power electronics section lead for AFRL’s Propulsion Directorate, notes that the practical realization of the SiC high-temperature, power, and frequency performance entitlement, on a pervasive scale, is coming to fruition. With its inherent high-temperature operational capability, this technology will be widely applicable to high-reliability military and commercial-system power conversion applications.

About Powerex
Powerex is a leading supplier of discrete, modular and integrated high-power semiconductor solutions. Powerex’s broad product line—including IGBTs; IPMs; DIP-IPMs; Discrete Rectifiers and Thyristors; and Thyristor and Diode Modules—is enhanced by its divisions devoted to the development of custom modules and customer-specific assemblies.

Disclaimers of Warranties
1. The website does not warrant the following:
1.1 The services from the website meets your requirement;
1.2 The accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the service;
1.3 The accuracy, reliability of conclusions drawn from using the service;
1.4 The accuracy, completeness, or timeliness, or security of any information that you download from the website
2. The services provided by the website is intended for your reference only. The website shall be not be responsible for investment decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from use of the website or the information contained therein<
Proprietary Rights
You may not reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, display, perform, publish, distribute, disseminate, broadcast or circulate to any third party, any materials contained on the services without the express prior written consent of the website or its legal owner.

Nichia’s Tunable 757 receives rave reviews from industry leaders, including the coveted LpS Best Sustainability Technology Award. Nichia, the leader in and inventor of the high-brightness LED, announced its game-changing single LES, tuna... READ MORE

Innovative tunable white, mid-power LED enables luminaire manufacturers to improve colour tuning, shrink optics and fixture profiles, while enabling new design options. Nichia, the leader in and inventor of the high-brightness LED, announces i... READ MORE