Toyota has developed an SiC power semiconductor for use in hybrid vehicle (HV) power control units (PCUs). The company hopes the device (shown below) will improve HV fuel efficiency by 10% and reduce PCU size. PCUs contain an inverter and voltage converter and account for about 25% of HV electrical power loss -- most of it associated with the power semiconductors.
Toyota developed the SiC device in house to ensure that it met automotive requirements. The company expects to begin test driving vehicles with PCUs containing the device within a year.
Hybrid vehicle PCUs fitted with SiC power semiconductors (right) are expected to be much smaller than those using
traditional silicon power semiconductors (left).
Vanderbilt University researchers have developed a "structural supercapacitor" that can store and release electrical charge while subject to stresses or pressures up to 44 psi and vibrational accelerations of more than 80 g without compromising its energy storage capability.
The device consists of a polymer film sandwiched between chemically treated silicon electrodes coated with an ultrathin graphene-like layer of carbon (see below). It offers the possibility of integrating stored electrical energy directly into products, such as the casing of a laptop, the chassis of an electric car, or even a home's drywall and siding.
A side view of the structural supercapacitor shows the polymer electrolyte (blue material) that bonds the silicon electrodes together to form an extremely strong mechanical bond.
(Source: Joe Howell/Vanderbilt University)
In product news, Linear Technology has announced a supercapacitor charger and backup controller IC. The LTC3350 can charge and monitor a series stack of one to four supercapacitors providing all control, charging and balancing, and monitoring to ensure the backup system can operate reliably.
Microsemi Corp. has introduced a family of SiC MOSFETs. The 1,200-V APT40SM120B (80 mΩ, 40 A), APT40SM120J (80 mΩ, 40 A), APT50SM120B (50 mΩ, 50 A), and APT50SM120J (50 mΩ, 50 A) SiC MOSFETs have been made available in TO-247 and SOT-227 packages.
A high-voltage/high-current connector system from Molex is designed for commercial electric vehicles. The Imperium HVHC Connector System can handle up to 1,000 V and 250 A per contact and withstand the most extreme shock and vibration.
Exar has expanded its LDO portfolio. The new XR71211 ultra-low-dropout voltage regulator provides 1.5 A from inputs as low as 1.4 V and has a guaranteed dropout voltage of 250 mV at maximum junction temperature.
Power Integrations announced isolated LED-Driver ICs that let the LEDs be affixed directly to a metal heat sink. The LYTSwitch-2 family delivers up to 12 W and uses primary-side control.
Infineon Technologies has extended its latest generation of reverse conducting IGBTs. The 650-V RC-H5 IGBT can work with switching frequencies of up to 40 kHz and is available in 20-, 40- and 50-A current classes.
Pulse Electronics has announced SMT transformers using a new platform that increases throughput power and reduces footprint. The PH9278NL planar transformers feature operate at 200-700 kHz, provide 1,500 VDC isolation, and can deliver up to 800 W in a footprint of 33.5×26.8×18.3 mm.
Vishay says its new 150-V MOSFET has the industry's lowest on-resistance at 10 V in a footprint of 2×2 mm. The SiA446DJ has an on-resistance of 177 mΩ at 10 VGS and is optimized for primary-side switching in isolated DC/DC converters, boost converters in LED backlighting, and synchronous rectification and load switching in power-management applications.
XP Power has added to its line of AC-input LED drivers. The DLE25/35 series incorporates universal input with active power factor correction in a two-power-stage design. The devices are approved as class 2 limited power sources.
Finally, Excelsys Technologies has introduced 1U-high, single-output switching power supplies. The Xsolo family delivers a convection-cooled 504 W in an open-frame U-channel form factor and up to 1,008 W in an enclosed, fan-cooled chassis.