Power Electronics / Power Management


New power semiconductor technology to lower costs and reduce energy consumption

5 November 2003 Power Electronics / Power Management

Infineon Technologies has introduced a cost-optimised alternative to MOSFETs (metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors) typically used in electronic lamp ballasts (ELB) for fluorescent tubes, claimed to allow a 1-to-1 replacement at approximately a 15% lower price with same functionality. Compared to conventional magnetic lamp ballasts, use of the ELBs can reduce the power consumption of lighting systems by up to 25% annually, says Infineon. The new member of its IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) product family, the new LightMOS IGBT, is intended for use in ballast inverters as a 600 V blocking power switch and is optimised for switching frequencies between 40 and 60 kHz.

The LightMOS IGBTs, which are the first in the industry to have powerful monolithically integrated reverse diodes, exhibit the low power losses of a MOSFET and the low temperature dependency of an IGBT. This makes lamp ballast design easier, faster and more cost-effective. Improved reliability is achieved due to the characteristic IGBT temperature behaviour, which has less risk of the thermal runaway that is a critical consideration with MOSFETs. In addition, the LightMOS IGBTs combine Infineon's FieldStop technology with a Trench cell (TrenchStop technology) for low conduction and switching losses, and can be applied much closer to its specification limits.

Infineon says that the advantages of TrenchStop technology include an exceptional ruggedness and short-circuit withstanding capability, increased reliability, and low EMI. The FieldStop structure within the power devices ensures a significant reduction in the tail current that occurs during turn-off switching, and the Trench cell limits conduction losses to a minimum due to extremely low saturation voltage. As a result, considerably less heat is generated.

The LightMOS IGBTs are available in DPak and D2Pack packages.



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