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Technical Paper

Hybrid Cars Setting New Challenges for Optimized Power Semiconductors

The electrification of the powertrain is still one of the main challenges and innovation drivers for modern cars. With the introduction of the Toyota Prius, launched in Japan in 1997 the first commercially available hybrid car in mass production, the development continued towards the BMW i3 launched in July 2013. One main component for all kind of hybrid cars is still the power semiconductor, which is used for DC/DC converters and for the inverter to drive the electric motor for the traction control. What makes the selection of the right power semiconductor complex, is the variety of different voltage levels within the car (from standard 12V board net, the new 48V board net all the way up to 400V and above) plus different requirements in terms of switching and conduction performance, or accordingly power losses. The selection of device by application and voltage will be discussed in this paper.
Technical Paper

Automotive MOSFETs Operating in the Safe Operating Area

The modern day power MOSFET is constructed using the latest technology in order to minimize the drain source resistance. The latest MOSFET technologies are capable of achieving the same drain to source resistance with a smaller MOSFET die than previous generations which will directly lead to increased thermal resistance and limited energy handling capability. This paper will discuss the Safe Operating Area of power MOSFETs and how to assess new MOSFET technology.