Industry White Papers

Power Semiconductor Technology: Striking a Balance between Power, Robustness, and Cost

September 01, 2020 by Infineon

The choice of power semiconductor components in automotive design always comes down to a trade-off between power, robustness, and cost. Learn about the technology behind these characteristics and how the best decision can be made.

Power electronics are playing a decisive role in this effort since, with its share of about 20 percent, it is contributing significantly to the total amount of all electrical losses incurred. Optimizing efficiency, therefore, presents an important lever for lowering the energy demand of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Yet energy efficiency is just one of several aspects. The avoidance of costly recalls of an automobile is another important criterion in the layout of the components in a car. Thus, the robustness of the power electronics and its semiconductor devices is at least of the same importance as their efficiency.

Finally, costs are a key factor in the commercial success of a technical solution. This is especially true for applications such as electromobility since these are in competition with traditional mobility solutions. Thus, the choice of power semiconductors always comes down to a trade-off between power, robustness, and cost. This has to be carefully considered when selecting the most appropriate technology and the most suited packaging type for each power semiconductor component.