Emerging Trends in Automotive Power Semiconductor Systems 1999-01-0160
The increased worldwide demand for improved engine performance, emission control, diagnostics, safety, comfort and quality of drive is causing explosive growth in the amount of power semiconductors in automotive electronic systems.
Discrete power semiconductors such as MOSFETs have been used for several years now in auxiliary functions like air bags, anti-lock brakes, seat belt pre-tensioners, engine management systems and so on. These are now considered standard features in many cars today.
As the price and performance of power semiconductors improves, more and more sophisticated systems are being developed. New technologies in packaging are enabling the integration and modularisation of complete functions, further reducing overall systems size and cost, and increasing performance, reliability and usability.
This article discusses these trends and focuses on specific examples such as the emergence of electric power steering, combined starter alternator systems, electric braking and other developing applications.