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Onsemi Intros 7th Gen IGBT-based Intelligent Power Modules

February 26, 2024 by Jake Hertz

Announced today at APEC 2024, the new, highly integrated family of devices, reduces package size and increases power density for designers.

High power systems demand greater efficiency components, and, to that end, insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) are an industry staple. However, optimizing the efficiency and area constraints of IGBTs necessitates meticulous design and the correct interconnection of components—making the design of these systems a tricky task for engineers.

At this week’s APEC 2024 event, today Onsemi announced their 7th generation family of IGBT-based power modules, meant to make efficiency and density easily attainable for designers. All About Circuits had the chance to hear from Ajay Sattu, Director of Product Marketing, Industrial Power Division, Power Solutions Group, at Onsemi to learn more about the new family.

 

FS7 IGBTs Leverage Key Substrates

The FS7 1200 V SPM31 product family from Onsemi is the company’s latest innovation in the field of Intelligent Power Module (IPM) technology, particularly for three-phase inverter drive applications.
 

Onsemi says its FS7 1200 V SPM31 family of IPMs are particularly well suited for three-phase inverter drive designs.

Onsemi says its FS7 1200 V SPM31 family of IPMs are particularly well suited for three-phase inverter drive designs.

 

This family is built around the 7th Generation Field Stop IGBT (FS7 IGBT) technology, offering notable advancements in efficiency, power density, and thermal management.

According to Onsemi a crucial advancement in this generation of products is their use of substrates, such as Direct Bonded Copper (DBC) and ceramics, which contribute to superior thermal performance and effective heat dissipation.

 

Integrated Gate Drivers

Additionally, the new modules are highly integrated, including gate-driving ICs, multiple on-module protection features, and built-in components like diodes, resistors, NTC thermistors, and, of course, IGBT power switches. Overall, the family of 1200 V IPMs comes with three offerings, ranging from support for 15 A, 25 A, and 35 A. 

 

The makeup of the FS7 1200 V SPM31 product family.

The makeup of the FS7 1200 V SPM31 product family. (Click image to enlarge)
 

As compared to previous generations, a key improvement of the FS7 1200 V SPM31 series is its ability to deliver higher current within the same footprint. Specifically, the new modules achieve a 10% reduction in power losses, which contributes to better thermal performance without compromising the package size.

This efficiency gain is crucial for applications that demand high power in compact spaces, as it enables the development of smaller, more efficient, and reliable systems. Moreover, the FS7 1200 V SPM31 series boasts a 9% increase in power density, a metric that is increasingly important in the design of power electronics as it impacts the overall system size and cost. 

The family also boasts benefits over the competition, according to Sattu. “..This product brings nearly 50% size reduction, meaning it offers very high power density, but of course not at the cost of efficiency,” he says.

 

“Efficiency is also nearly 10% higher, and that can be attributed to lower switching losses and lower conduction losses from the IGBT technology and also better thermal performance as well in the same size package as we have done before.”

 

Moving Forward

Onsemi's new family of IPMs, exemplified by the SPM31 modules, mirrors broader trends within the power electronics sector. As engineers face mounting pressures to devise solutions that are not only more power-efficient but also compact and thermally robust, the modules stand out for their innovative approach.

The inclusion of cutting-edge substrates, such as Direct Bonded Copper (DBC) and ceramics, as well as a high level of integration, have led to a significant reduction in size and improvements in efficiency—both of which are growing concerns for designers of heating and cooling systems.

It’s for these reasons that Onsemi claims that the devices are best suited for applications including heat pumps, commercial HVAC systems, and servo motors.

For more information, check on Onsemi’s application note Three-phase Inverter Power Module 1200 V SPM 31 Version 2 Series.

 

All images used courtesy of Onsemi