Silicon-carbide power switches to rival conventional FETs in BOM cost

March 14, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Cree, Inc. has released the company’s second generation SiC MOSFET enabling systems to have higher efficiency and smaller size at cost parity with silicon-based solutions.

The 1200 V MOSFETs deliver industry-leading power density and switching efficiency at half the cost per amp of Cree’s previous generation MOSFETs. At this price-performance point, they enable lower system costs for OEMs and provide additional savings to the end-user through increased efficiency and lower installation costs due to the lower size and weight of SiC-based systems.

The superior performance of the new SiC MOSFETs enables the reduction of required current rating by 50-70 percent in some high power applications.  When properly optimized, customers can now get the performance benefits of SiC with the same or lower systems cost as with previous silicon solutions.  For solar inverters and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, the efficiency improvement is accompanied by size and weight reductions.  In motor drive applications the power density can be more than doubled while increasing efficiency and providing up to twice the maximum torque of similarly rated silicon solutions.  The product offering range has been extended to include a much larger 25 mOhm die aimed at the higher power module market for power levels above 30 kW. The 80 mOhm device is intended as a lower cost, higher performance upgrade to the first generation MOSFET.

Die are available with ratings of 25 mOhms, intended as a 50 Amp building block for high power modules, and 80 mOhm.  The 80 mOhm MOSFET in a TO-247 package is intended as a higher performance, lower cost replacement for Cree’s first-generation CMF20120D. Packaged parts are available immediately from DigiKey, Mouser and Farnell.

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