Interview with Mr. Youvraj Chandrakar, Director & Country Head of Sales for Power Management & Multimarket Infineon Technologies India. Mr. Youvraj talks here about Infineon power management solutions, power semiconductor technologies and Digital power advantages.
Please start with highlighting power management applications.
The world is evolving into a place of always-on interconnectivity – demanding reliable, high performance and energy efficient solutions. Tiny, barely visible electronic components have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. They help to feed regenerative energy into power grids with almost zero losses, tame power-hungry computers, give us new invisible radar interfaces to control hardware, safeguard the data flying through cyberspace, make our cars more energy-efficient and enable new technologies such as wireless charging. Smart cities with smart homes, Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, building and industrial automation as well as smart vehicles are environments with a new demand on capacity and size of our system solutions.
Infineon enables efficient generation, transmission and conversion of electrical energy. We make life easier, safer and greener – with technology that achieves more, consumes less and is accessible to everyone.
Let us understand Infineon SMPS solutions and trends you are following?
Infineon Technologies offers a wide range of cost-effective products for consumer switch mode power supplies (SMPS). This includes high voltage MOSFETs, control IC’s and Silicon Carbide diodes for PFC and PWM stages, as well as low voltage MOSFETs for synchronous rectification. With these products Infineon supports the trends towards continuously reducing power consumption. Especially versatile is the new CoolMOS™ 600V C6 family which combines good efficiency with attractive pricing, as does their 5th generation SiC diodes. For synchronous rectification the OptiMOS™ series offers extremely low on-state resistance and low capacitances. Infineon’s new control ICs support topologies such as quasi-resonant flyback and LLC.
Tell us something about Infineon power semiconductor products?
Infineon is the leader in the power semiconductor market, mastering all power technologies and offering the broadest product and technology portfolio of silicon (such as SJ MOSFETs, IGBTs), silicon carbide (such as Schottky diodes, MOSFETs) and gallium nitride-based (e-mode HEMTs) devices, covering bare die, discretes and module solutions.
Based on the industry-leading technology, highest quality and manufacturing expertise, Infineon provides a variety of innovative power semiconductors addressing a broad range of battery powered motor control applications, such as power tools, forklifts, all kinds of light electric vehicles including e-skateboards, e-scooters, pedelecs, low speed cars and many others. Through an excellent selection of devices for power management, consumption and voltage regulation – such as power MOSFETs (e.g. CoolMOS™ and OptiMOS™), XMC™ microcontrollers, EiceDRIVER™ gate drivers and more, Infineon offers all components that are needed for the compact, cost effective designs of today, and for the innovative designs of tomorrow.
With the introduction of gallium nitride, Infineon is currently the only company in the market offering a full-spectrum portfolio of all power technologies – silicon (Si), silicon carbide (SiC) and GaN. We deliver solutions from microamps to megawatts with superior energy efficiency, offering highly reliable IGBTs, power MOSFETs, GaN e-mode HEMTs, power discretes, protected switches, Si drivers, GaN drivers, IGBT modules, intelligent power modules (IPMs), linear regulators, motor control solutions, LED drivers, and all forms of AC-DC, DC-DC, and digital power conversion.
Can you explain GaN technology and your innovations in this field?
Efficiency is a critical element in all sectors. In power applications, greater efficiency enables higher power densities, not only yielding smaller solutions but also providing the power levels required for critical infrastructure elements such as data centers and connected electric vehicles. Greater efficiency is also essential for enabling the power management systems that reduce the total cost of supplying billions of devices. These requirements have fueled research and development of semiconductor materials that support higher conversion efficiencies.
Power semiconductors based on silicon substrates have well-documented limits for high-voltage operation. The industry has addressed those problems by adopting materials whose characteristics are more suited to power applications, such as the ability to operate at higher switching frequencies in order to minimize switching losses. The GaN-based devices that have appeared on the market in recent years have been an exceptional addition to the power designer’s toolbox, enabling overall AC/DC conversion efficiencies of about 98%.
GaN has been in common use for high-brightness diodes since the 1990s. The material’s crystalline structure suits it for use in optoelectronics, for high-power applications, and where reduced switching times are required. Its peculiar characteristic is that it is a piezoelectric with an aluminium (Al) layer. GaN ensures a bandgap of 3.4 electron-volts (eV), compared with 1.12 eV for equivalent silicon. The wide bandgap allows a GaN device to sustain much higher electrical fields than a silicon equivalent of the same dimensions before a break occurs and the device becomes unusable. The high electric breakdown field not only eliminates the need for voltage converters but also potentially improves efficiency.
How Digital Power plays role in modern electronic systems?
Digital power is one of the most important technologies for reducing power consumption and managing the growing power complexity in modern electronic systems. From smart handhelds to data servers and wireless base stations, digital power management and control provide real-time intelligence that enables developers to build power systems that automatically adapt to their environment and optimize efficiency. The use of intelligent digital power means automatic compensation for changes in load and system temperature, enabling energy savings with adaptive dead-time control, dynamic voltage scaling for optimal system performance and safe operation with robust protection under various fault conditions.
The main benefit we are seeing from our customers is the ability to design a new solution in a very short amount of time. What would normally take many months to accomplish in an analog based solution for a design can now be done in a matter of days or even hours.
Infineon XDP™ facilitates the development and implementation of high performance products with unique features by superior digital control algorithms and a broad flexibility of parameters to optimize the IC for the specific application use case. The digital design of the IC family supports a wide set of use cases for state-of-the-art technology. Easy-to-use development tools simplify the design-in of XDP™ products greatly.