STM, Sanken Electric to develop intelligent power modules for automotive products

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 26 Oct 2020

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor manufacturer and Japan’s Sanken Electric, a leading player in innovative technology specialising in semiconductor devices, power modules, and sensors, have announced a strategic partnership to develop next-generation intelligent power modules (IPM) in high-voltage, high-power equipment designs.

The partners are developing and will jointly market 650V/50A and 1200V/10A industrial modules, which is said to simplify design challenges and shrink the bill of materials for HVAC systems, industrial servo drives, industrial washing machines, and general-purpose inverters over 3 kW. The ST/Sanken IPM product roadmap will continue with 650V/50A automotive-grade modules for high-voltage compressors, pumps, and cooling fans.

Masao Hoshino, director and head of Device Business Corporate Headquarters, Sanken said: “With ST and Sanken contributing their strengths, we can bring these new high-voltage, high-power IPMs to industrial and automotive markets, ensuring superior performance, efficiency, and reliability.”

Marco Monti, president – Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics, said, “These new devices extend our established STpower Sllimm portfolio with a High-Power (HP) product line to address applications over 3 kW and introduce our first automotive-grade IPMs that permit sleeker designs and greater reliability.”

The IPMs will let designers replace traditional power circuits built using discrete components with a compact, integrated device that simplifies the circuit layout and PCB design. This will help accelerate time to market and improve cost-effectiveness and reliability. Leveraging easier manufacturing, faster assembly, and bill-of-materials savings, designers of high-voltage equipment can create new generations of power products that are space-saving, economical, energy-efficient, and robust.

The new IPMs integrate a complete inverter stage including six short-circuit rugged IGBTs with freewheeling diodes, associated high-side and low-side gate drivers in a single package designed optimally for thermal efficiency. The IPMs are ready to operate in hard switching up to 20 kHz, the modules also contain built-in features for protection and control. These include bootstrap diodes, short-circuit protection, under-voltage lockout protection for gate drivers, a 100 kΩ thermistor for temperature monitoring, and a comparator for fault protection.

Additional benefits that simplify design for users and enhance safety and reliability include:

  • 3.3V/5V TTL/CMOS-compatible inputs with hysteresis
  • Shutdown input and Fault output
  • Separate open-emitter outputs
  • Very fast, soft-recovery diodes
  • Fully isolated package with isolation rating of 2500Vrms/min

The partners say the engineering samples of the industrial IPMs will be available in March 2021 and production will begin soon afterwards. Samples of the automotive-grade devices will be available in second half of 2021.