In the race to make the most efficient electric vehicle, the design of power electronics converters plays a vital role. Power losses, breakdown voltage, switching times, and thermal conductivity of semiconductor devices are critical factors when designing power electronics converters.
Silicon power devices are widely used in power converters but suffer from major limitations such as low bandgap energy, low thermal conductivity, and switching frequency limitations. Wide bandgap devices, such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN), are gaining tremendous attention in power electronics designs because of rapid advancements in manufacturability and commercial availability. These devices provide large bandgap, enabling higher breakdown voltage and thermal conductivity. Wide bandgap devices are replacing silicon devices in high-voltage, high-switching frequency, and high-temperature applications.
This 20-minute Tech Talk compares SiC MOSFET and Si IGBT in electric vehicle applications. In addition, it analyzes a quantitative estimate of the system improvement based on simulation results using Synopsys’ SaberRD virtual prototyping solution.