Wide bandgap semiconductors are the big story in the power semiconductor market, and the news continues to flow.
The latest announcement is a big deal for volume manufacturers of products such as power supplies, solar inverters, EV chargers, industrial power systems and UPS units: major industry player onsemi has announced EliteSiC, a broad family of silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs and associated drivers.
According to onsemi, the M3S technology in the new EliteSiC planar MOSFETs is optimized to perform fast switching with very low switching losses. The planar technology offers reliable operation with a negative gate voltage and turn-off spikes on the gate. EliteSiC MOSFET products are available with 1,200 V and 1,700 V breakdown voltage ratings.
The MOSFETs are backed by a range of dedicated driver ICs. They include the NCP51561, an isolated dual-channel gate driver. The channels can be configured with two low-side or two high-side switches, or as a half-bridge driver with programmable dead-time.
These latest introductions will help stimulate a vibrant market for SiC devices, which bring the benefits of wide bandgap technology – very high efficiency and fast switching, to enable the design of smaller, lighter, and more efficient power-conversion circuits – to high-voltage and high-power applications.
(At voltages below 700 V and power levels below around 2 kW, GaN switches are the generally preferred wide bandgap alternative to silicon.)
The strong commitment to the SiC market of onsemi – an $8bn-a-year giant of the semiconductor industry – should lift OEMs’ confidence in the availability of SiC parts in production volumes, at a time when demand is surging across the automotive and industrial sectors.