Six-pack three-phase power switch uses all-silicon-carbide devices

May 15, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Cree, has introduced the industry’s first commercially available silicon carbide (SiC) six-pack power module in an industry standard 45 mm package.

When replacing a silicon module with equivalent ratings, Cree’s six-pack module can reduce power losses by 75%, which leads to an immediate 70% reduction in the size of the heat sink or a 50% increase in power density.  The new six-pack SiC module unlocks the traditional design constraints associated with power density, efficiency and cost, thereby enabling the designer to create high performance, reliable and low cost power conversion systems. When compared to state-of-the-art silicon modules, the SiC 1.2 kV, 50A modules deliver performance equivalent to silicon modules rated at 150 A.

“The efficient switching of the SiC module allows us to use them with significantly less derating than silicon IGBTs,” explained Dr. Jun Kang, research and applications manager, Yaskawa America, Inc. “This feature enables significantly higher frequency operation, which both increases fundamental output frequency and reduces passive component size in the motor drive.”

“Cree’s SiC power module family can also provide significant benefits to applications such as solar inverters, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and industrial power supplies,” explained Mrinal Das, product marketing manager, Cree Power and RF.  “Even when designers simply substitute Si modules with SiC in motor drive applications, the improved performance of SiC reduces power losses, leading to reduced cooling requirements and, in turn, to a reduction in size, weight, complexity and the overall cost of the power electronics system.”

The CCS050M12CM2 six-pack modules are available through Digi-Key and Mouser Electronics. Gate driver ICs suitable for SiC MOSFETs are available from IXYS and Texas Instruments.  Complete gate driver boards (CRD-001) are available.
Cree, www.cree.com/SiC-modules