Large-bandgap semiconductor devices, like gallium nitride and silicon carbide devices, has attracted substantial interest from the automotive application sector.
FREMONT, CA: Wide-bandgap semiconductor devices, such as Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) devices, have drawn substantial interest in the automotive field of operation. Still, large-band gap semiconductor devices are too pricey to apply to automotive applications' power electronics systems.
If so, the series-connected active power semiconductor device leveraging low voltage rating power semiconductor devices from power conversion systems is an effective solution for cost and performance problems. However, there is no mention of voltage imbalance in series-connected active power semiconductor devices.
There are many types of power electronics systems in automotive applications. The control systems for HEVs, for instance, have several power electronics systems. Moreover, the requirement of each power electronics device varies from that of the others.
On the contrary, large-bandgap semiconductor devices, such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide devices, have attracted significant interest from the automotive application sector. This is because these devices have much better performance than Si power devices with a lower internal carrier concentration, a higher electrical field, higher thermal conductivity, and higher thermal conductivity.
This aspect means that HEVs through the SiC and GaN powertrain will achieve substantially improved fuel economy (3 to 5% increase in fuel efficiency in the case of SiC power semiconductor devices).
The advantage of the wide-bandgap semiconductor system application is the related high-efficiency performance through low on-resistance characteristics. Out of the application side of the system, low-loss performance straightaway affects high fuel efficiency.
SiC power semiconductor devices can also be used in inverters for EVs as they have high-voltage (over 800 V) lithium-ion batteries for their quick-charge needs. Speaking of 1000 V DC bus-line applications, the inverter uses a SiC power semiconductor unit.
Another benefit of the large-bandgap semiconductor device is that it can reduce the size of power electronics systems. This is because passive components and cooling systems occupying considerable space in power converters can be minimized due to high-frequency and high-efficiency operation.
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In the automotive sector, the strict EU exhaust gas regulation would need high fuel efficiency performance. One key is the application of large-band gap semiconductor products, such as GaN and SiC devices, to main and accessory power lines in next-generation automotive applications. Nevertheless, the need for lower costs in the automotive application market has increased in recent years.