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Technical Paper

MOSTVS: A New Class of Transient Voltage Suppressors to Reduce Voltage Rating and Cost of Automotive Power Electronics

Power electronics is playing an increasingly important role in vehicle systems. The voltage rating of automotive power electronics is predominantly determined by the transient immunity requirement, which considerably exceeds the maximum operating voltages of 12V and 24V automotive power systems, and imposes a large cost penalty. In contrast, the emerging 42V systems require a much improved bus voltage regulation to maintain system affordability. In this paper, we introduce a new class of transient voltage suppressors termed as MOSTVS, which provides a more accurately controlled clamping voltage than the conventional Zener diodes and MOVs over a wide range of current and temperature. The new MOSTVS concept, based on power MOSFET and polysilicon thin-film technologies, makes it possible to relax the breakdown voltage requirement of automotive power electronics and result in significant cost reduction.