Hi-voltage SiC transistor address EV chargers

May 15, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With what the vendor claims to be the first commercially available silicon carbide (SiC) 1200V MOSFET, semiconductor manufacturer Cree offers a switching transistor with an exceptionally low RDS(on) of just 25mO. With the device, Cree targets charging systems for electric vehicles, but also high voltage DC/DC converters, induction heating systems and medical CT applications.

With what the vendor claims to be the first commercially available silicon carbide (SiC) 1200V MOSFET, semiconductor manufacturer Cree offers a switching transistor with an exceptionally low RDS(on) of just 25mO. With the device, Cree targets charging systems for electric vehicles, but also high voltage DC/DC converters, induction heating systems and medical CT applications.

Based on the company's proven C2M SiC MOSFET technology, the new C2M0025120D has a pulsed current rating (IDS Pulse) of 250A and a positive temperature coefficient, providing engineers with greater design flexibility to explore new design concepts. The high IDS Pulse rating makes the device suitable for pulsed power applications, and the positive temperature coefficient allows the devices to be paralleled to achieve even higher power levels.

The higher switching frequency of the new SiC MOSFET enables power electronics designers to reduce the size, weight, cost, and complexity of power systems. For medical applications, such as CT systems, Cree's C2M MOSFETs provide a 5X reduction in switching losses and enable much higher power density. Combined with the lower switching losses, the added benefit of low RDS(on) greatly improves the thermal characteristics and can potentially even eliminate system fans, resulting in quieter and more cost effective medical imaging systems.

Cree has also demonstrated that, by implementing the C2M0025120D in a PV string-inverter, it is possible to develop a highly efficient and compact 50kW grid-tied solar inverter with a power to weight ratio of 1kW/kg. This results in a string inverter that is significantly more efficient and half the weight and size of the state-of-the-art commercial 50kW systems available today. Additionally, for rooftop PV inverters, the smaller size and lighter weight greatly reduce the installation costs.

Cree offers several tools to help engineers get started with their next designs, including full reference designs of recommended SiC MOSFET gate driver circuits. Customers can also purchase Cree CRD-001 gate driver boards, which provide a convenient way to quickly evaluate the