Infineon Introduces a Full-bridge Power Module for EV Traction Inverters

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Key Highlights:

  • HybridPACK Drive CoolSiC is a full-bridge module with 1200 V blocking voltage of that is designed for traction inverters in EVs
  • Infineon developed the HybridPACK Drive in 2017 with silicon technology and a scalable power range of 100 kW to 180 kW in the 750-v and 1200-v classes
  • The switch to silicon carbide enables the inverter design to reach greater power of up to 250 kW in the 1200-v class

High-voltage Efficiency for EVs

The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) is a form of insulated-gate field-effect transistor manufactured by controlled oxidation of a semiconductor, usually silicon. Silicon carbide semiconductors offer a path of less resistance that enables higher-voltage power electronics for next-generation electric vehicles with big batteries and fast charging times.

Presently, Infineon (a German semiconductor manufacturer corporation) intends to accelerate this trend with its CoolSiC MOSFET technology in the HybridPACK Drive CoolSiC. This is a full-bridge module with 1200 V blocking voltage optimized for traction inverters in EVs. 

It is a power module based on the automotive CoolSiC trench MOSFET technology for high-power density and high-performance applications. This provides tremendous efficiency in inverters with longer ranges and more economical battery prices, particularly for high-voltage 800-volt, big battery systems.

“The automotive e-mobility market has become highly dynamic, paving the ground for ideas and innovation”, stated Mark Münzer, Head of Innovation and Emerging Technology at Infineon. “As the price of SiC devices significantly reduces, the commercialization of SiC solutions will stimulate, resulting in more cost-efficient platforms adopting SiC technology to enhance the range of electric vehicles.”

Technological Underpinnings 

The Electric Global Modular Platform’s 800-volt system serves as the technological foundation for the next generation of electric vehicles with faster charging times. By using traction inverters based on Infineon’s CoolSiC power module, Hyundai Motor Group was able to enhance the vehicle’s range by more than 5% due to efficiency advantages caused by the lower losses of this silicon carbide solution compared to silicon-based solutions.

Infineon launched the HybridPACK Drive in 2017 with silicon technology and a scalable power range of 100 kW to 180 kW in the 750-v and 1200-v classes. The company has shipped more than one million of them for more than 20 electric vehicles. This new silicon carbide CoolSiC variant employs a silicon carbide trench MOSFET construction. Its trench structure allows for higher cell density than flat planar structures, which contributes to its capability to operate at lower gate-oxide field strengths with increased reliability.

The move to silicon carbide allows the inverter design to achieve higher power of up to 250 kW in the 1200-v class, greater driving range, smaller battery size, and optimized system size and cost. This first-generation CoolSiC automotive MOSFET technology is optimized for utilization in EV traction inverters, with an emphasis on lowering conduction losses, particularly at partial load conditions. Combined with the low switching losses of silicon carbide MOSFETs, this allows for a higher efficiency gain in inverter operation when compared to silicon. These semiconductors are currently available, so as soon as Hyundai is ready to deliver new cars built on its E-GMP EV platform.

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