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Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide MOSFETs Address High-Power Application Needs

May 07, 2023
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The emerging opportunities for Silicon Carbide (SiC) technologies are boundless. Wherever there’s a need for highly reliable power systems, SiC MOSFETs enable high efficiency for many different applications across many industries, including those that must operate in harsh environments.
Designing with SiC enables very high efficiencies at all load operating points, allowing for much smaller, power dense systems with high reliability and lower system level cost when compared toa silicon insulated gate bipolar transistor (Si IGBT). However, to date there have been few SiC options in the 3300 V range, which is the impetus for Wolfspeed’s new SiC Bare Die MOSFET.

Efficiency is critical for medium-voltage power conversion systems, so is ruggedness, compactness, and reduced weight. These SiC characteristics are key contributors to lowering total system, maintenance, and operational costs.

These benefits have a tangible impact in a variety of everyday scenarios and applications:

  • Trains and Traction Systems: Power units, including Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) and Traction Power Units (TPUs), are found in many different vehicle types that move goods and people, including electric buses, light rail trains, heavy-duty cargo and delivery vehicles. Electrified vehicles have both an APU and a TPU, which can be quite bulky. Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide MOSFETs enable designers to build smaller, higher power density systems offering unparalleled performance, lower thermal losses and increased reliability.
  • Industrial uninterruptible power supplies (UPS): Backup power supplies should be as efficient as primary ones – Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide MOSFETs enable 30% lower losses, up to a 15% system cost saving, and up to 50% higher power density than their silicon counterparts. Most of all, they are reliable. UPS systems using SiC MOSFETs reduce power losses and lower total cost of ownership while increasing power density, allowing designers to pack more backup power into a single enclosure, or into smaller and lighter systems for space-constrained environments.
  • Industrial motor drives: SiC’s fast switching and reduced losses makes it ideal for efficient, integrated motor drives because it enables designers to reduce the size of the motor drives and move them closer to the motor to reduce costs and improve reliability.
  • Heavy-duty vehicles: Electrification of heavy vehicles requires that the vehicle’s components, including a high-efficiency inverter, be capable of handling more power while continuing to regulate operating temperatures. SiC-based inverter designs have shown to dramatically increase power density when compared with Si IGBT solutions. The thermal management capabilities of SiC help to reduce component footprint, improve performance and efficiency, and support higher-frequency operation of inverters for heavy-duty applications.

Silicon Carbide enables smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective designs, converting energy more efficiently and supporting a variety of end-use applications. For designers, Wolfspeed's Gen3, 3300 V Bare Die Silicon Carbide MOSFETs offer benefits at both the system and die levels.

At the system level, cooling requirements are reduced due to excellent thermal conductivity, which means cooling components such as heat sinks and fans can be smaller, which in turn reduces the volume, weight and cost of the system. By operating at a higher switching frequency, the size of energy storage passives are also reduced, as are traction motor harmonic losses.

At the die level, Wolfspeed’s Gen 3, 3300 V Silicon Carbide Bare Die MOSFETs use their intrinsic body diode thereby reducing the bill of materials (BOM) compared to Si IGBTs. SiC MOSFETs also operate at a higher switching speed compared to Si IGBT at a higher temperature, from as low as -55 ° C to as high as 175 ° C.

Wolfspeed’s 35-plus years of experience innovating with Silicon Carbide technology along with a strong track record as a trusted vertically integrated supplier of Silicon Carbide MOSFETs empower designers to build systems with improved efficiencies, smaller form factors, higher temperature operation and reduced design complexity. Explore our 3300 V family to see how Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide can deliver exceptional performance in your power designs.

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