Duesseldorf, Germany NEC has announced the µPD166007 , an intelligent power device (IPD) for use in on-board electronic control units (ECUs) supporting applications such as headlights, anti-lock braking systems and air conditioners. With this new device, the mechanical switches or relays conventionally used to control these units have been replaced by semiconductors to enable smaller and lighter ECUs with improved on/off control and high reliability. This innovation frees cabin space and contributes to a lower environmental impact by reducing engine load. Further environmental benefit is achieved through the µPD166007 IPD's lead-free design. As it uses semiconductors, the µPD166007 IPD does not suffer from the reliability issues that effect mechanical relays due to contact wear. The device features a specific switching control to limit rapid fluctuations in output current. This reduces the electromagnetic noise and improves ECU performance. The IPD supports a current sensing function to monitor current flow during normal operation, and a diagnosis function to detect overcurrent and overheating. Support for these features allows an accurate grasp of the output status and the detection of abnormalities. The µPD166007 uses a stacked construction in a multi-chip package (MCP). The device also features vertical type field-effect transistors (FET) using a UMOS trench cell structure. This structure has a solid track record for low resistance and low heat generation, and with an on-resistance of 10 mOhm, the device is ideal for use in on-board control units. It comes in a compact TO-252 package with 5 external pins in line with JEDEC standards. NEC Electronics Europe GmbH , Duesseldorf, Germany. www.necel.com.