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Evolution of Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide MOSFET

May 27, 2019
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Wolfspeed has a 30-year history of innovations in wide bandgap power conversion technology and is one of the world’s foremost providers of rigorously field-tested Silicon Carbide (SiC) solutions for electronic systems. At Wolfspeed, we are on our third generation of Silicon Carbide MOSFET technology while our competitors are still on their first. Each successive generation of SiC MOSFET technology brings with it valuable lessons learned, significant technical improvements, improved performance, and higher reliability.

The evolution of semiconducting electronic devices has seen changes over recent years with further advancement and widespread acceptance of Silicon Carbide technology. Traditionally, these devices were manufactured with incumbent silicon technology to serve in applications such as automotive and power electronics. SiC technology has made it possible to produce semiconductor-based systems with high efficiency, excellent power densities, outstanding chemical resistance, and high thermal conductivity — all key characteristics that meet the needs of the most demanding high power applications of today, including solar inverters and fast chargers for electronic vehicles.

Wolfspeed’s 900V Silicon Carbide MOSFET

In 2015, Wolfspeed revolutionized the electric vehicle (EV) market with the industry’s first 900V Silicon Carbide MOSFET. This off-board charger is equipped with bridgeless totem-pole Power Factor Correction (PFC) topology. At that time, this 900V platform offered the highest efficiency while achieving lower system level costs than silicon-based solutions. The advanced properties of Wolfspeed’s 900V SiC MOSFET provides electronic systems with high blocking voltages with low RDS(on), avalanche ruggedness, and low reverse recovery. This fast intrinsic diode offers electronic systems properties that are easy to parallel and simple to drive.

Wolfspeed’s 1000V Silicon Carbide MOSFET

Wolfspeed’s engineers applied what they learned from the development of the of the 900V SiC MOSFET, which in turn led to the 1000V Silicon Carbide MOSFET. This SiC MOSFET family offers lower overall system costs with improved system efficiency and smaller system size when implemented as part of a system design. The 1000V SiC MOSFET has a simpler, two-level topology to reduce the component count of the system implementing it and is optimized for fast charging and industrial power supplies. The use of Wolfspeed’s 1000V SiC MOSFET shrinks the size of the resonant tank elements because of its own high thermal conductivity and compact size, which in turn decreases overall losses and reduces heatsink requirements. Additionally, this model has a 20kW full-bridge resonant LLC converter reference design, which allows for faster switching speeds and increased system power densities.


Wolfspeed’s 1200V Silicon Carbide MOSFET

Wolfspeed has further extended the advancements in the structure and functionalities of its device design to offer a 1200V Silicon Carbide MOSFET. This version is part of Wolfspeed’s third generation SiC MOSFET family that includes our MOSFETs in all power levels, including the 900V and 1000V. These higher performing semiconducting tools offer increased efficiency to the drivetrain and lower operational costs of electronic systems to allow for a longer driving range and better overall EV performance. When introduced to the market, Wolfspeed’s 1200V SiC MOSFET technology featured the industry’s lowest drain-source on resistance performance and the lowest switching losses.

Wolfspeed’s E-Series™ Silicon Carbide MOSFET

With their latest and most advanced developments in Silicon Carbide technology, Wolfspeed’s engineers have now introduced the high-performing E-Series Silicon Carbide MOSFET. This device is the first automotive-qualified SiC MOSFET that is AEC-Q101 and high humidity certified. Additionally, this new SiC MOSFET design can be implemented in solar power systems to provide advanced capabilities and withstand harsh environmental conditions while still operating at peak performance.

The E-Series SiC MOSFET design features Wolfspeed’s third generation rugged planar technology and lower switching losses compared to previous generations and other equivalent products on the market. With the development of this high-performing SiC MOSFET, Wolfspeed now offers its most complete and advanced portfolio of semiconducting electronic devices.

Wolfspeed is an industry-leading manufacturer of Silicon Carbide MOSFETs and leads the innovation and commercialization of Silicon Carbide. Wolfspeed’s SiC MOSFETs, Schottky diodes, and power modules have more than 4.7 trillion hours in the field. Wolfspeed is dedicated to building Silicon Carbide devices that are guaranteed to improve electrical system reliability, while achieving operational savings, reduced size and weight, increased productivity and improved safety. Wolfspeed engineers are consistently implementing new topologies in their SiC MOSFET design that were not previously possible to ensure the most advanced and efficient Silicon Carbide devices on the market.

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Electric vehicle adoption is growing exponentially and factors like climate change are driving a global shift to emissions-free motoring. Reaching true net zero requires a shift in how we engineer EV powertrains as well as the effectiveness of the systems that we use to charge them. Learn more about the advantages of Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide technologies in EVs.
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