New SiC bipolar junction transistors offer lowest total power losses at high operation temperatures

November 14, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Fairchild Semiconductor is introducing silicon carbide-based offerings into the company’s product mix as part of a move to introduce innovative, high-performance power transistor technology.

Fairchild’s SiC capabilities include optimized, semi-standard, and customized technical solutions that take advantage of its large portfolio of semiconductor devices and module packaging technologies.

The company’s advanced SiC technologies aim to simplify engineering challenges with functional integration and design support resources that minimize components while reducing engineering time.  The new devices are designed to meet the needs of device manufacturers and chipset suppliers by integrating leading device technologies into smaller advanced packages that offer size, cost and power advantages.

Among the first products to be released in Fairchild’s SiC portfolio is a family of advanced SiC bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) that offer high efficiency, high-current density, robustness, and easy high-temperature operation. By leveraging exceptionally efficient transistors, Fairchild’s SiC BJTs enable higher switching frequencies due to lower conduction and switching losses (ranging from 30-50 percent) that provide up to 40 percent higher output power in the same system form factor.

Enabling the use of smaller inductors, capacitors and heat sinks, these robust BJTs can lower overall system costs up to 20 percent. With performance levels that drive much higher efficiency and superior short-circuit and reverse bias safe operating area, these industry-leading SiC BJTs will play a significant role in optimizing the power management of high-power conversion applications.

Fairchild, as part of a complete silicon carbide solution, also has developed ‘plug-n-play’ discrete driver boards (a 15 A and 50 A version) that, when used in conjunction with Fairchild’s advanced SiC BJTs, not only provide increased switching speeds for reduced switching losses and better reliability, but also allow designers to easily implement SiC technology into their applications. Application notes, which provide designers the additional support necessary to design with SiC devices, and reference designs that allow for the development of driver boards to meet specific application needs, are also available from Fairchild and are intended to reduce design time and shorten time-to-market.

Availability 

Fairchild’s SiC BJTs are available in a TO-247 package and