IGBT and diode function on single chip deliver enhanced reliability

June 23, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Aimed at high-performance applications such as traction and industrial drives, Infineon has launched a 6.5 kV power module that features IGBT and freewheeling diode functionality integrated into a single chip.

The RCDC (Reverse Conducting IGBT with Diode Control) chip is intended for high-speed trains and high-performance locomotives as well as for future HVDC electric power transmission systems and medium voltage drives used for example in oil, gas and mining industries. Compared to previous modules with the same footprint, the RCDC technology delivers a 33% increase in current density and improved thermal performance. It supports longer lifecycles and enhanced reliability, ultimately minimising maintenance.

With the RCDC technology Infineon is extending its high-performance 6.5kV KE3 portfolio of IGBTs. The increased current density is a result of more active silicon area in both forward and reverse current direction giving designers the flexibility to increase system output power without incurring space penalties. Alternatively, the benefits of increased power density can be used to maintain power while reducing the number of IGBTs and, therefore, system size, weight – and cost.

Infineon’s RCDC solution is supplied in an IHV-A high isolation package with an industry-standard footprint, supporting ‘drop-in’ replacement for existing applications. As well as facilitating higher power densities, the monolithic integration of IGBT and diode results in a significant improvement in the diode I²t value and the IGBT and diode thermal impedance (Rth/Zth). The latter ensures good thermal performance over the full range of operation. A lower virtual junction temperature (Tvj) ripple supports extended lifetime operation, while the option to use gate control allows designers to optimize overall efficiency by trading off conduction and switching losses.

Engineering samples of the RCDC modules are available now, with starter kits including driver evaluation board scheduled for Q4 2015. Infineon will have a variety of design-in support options including application notes and control concepts.

Infineon; www.infineon.com