The SpeedVal kit can quickly test and optimize the high-speed dynamic switching performance of silicon carbide MOSFETs when used with a variety of industry-leading gate drivers.
Next-generation electrical semiconductors powered by silicon carbide (SiC) technology meet the needs of the rapidly growing battery electric vehicle (BEV) market and charging infrastructure, as well as the growing demand for new energy efficiency standards are. Energy density and small system sizes in industrial and renewable energy sectors.
To make good use of SiC, designers have to make some changes to their design, resulting in significant changes to the PCB. It is important to provide a robust design to handle very high operating frequencies. Automotive applications are among the applications that benefit most from SiC technology. It is typically used for main propulsion and onboard chargers and battery charging stations.
To help designers accelerate the transition from silicon to SiC, Wolfspeed has developed a modular approach (Speedwall kit). According to Wolfspeed, current SiC evaluation kits on the market focus solely on SiC devices, allowing engineers to test a narrow range of components. The Speedwall kit can quickly test and optimize the high speed dynamic switching performance of Wolfspeed SiC MOSFETs when used with a variety of industry leading gate drivers.
As the global leader in SiC technology, Wolfspeed has a portfolio of SiC Schotky diodes and MOSFETs from 600V to 1,700V and an extensive lineup of SiC power modules available in industry standard and custom footprints.
As a vertically integrated company, Wolfspeed owns every step of the SIC production process. Founder designed SiC and gallium nitride (GaN) solutions for high power and RF applications (Figure 1).
SiC has 10 times the dielectric strength of silicon, so it is possible to make devices that operate at high voltages and meet the needs in the field of charging infrastructure and smart grids. A high switching frequency allows the designer to reduce the physical size of the magnets, inductors and other parts of the filter or transformer, which can be reduced when using a high switching frequency.
SiC power devices are currently widely used for applications such as power supply, battery charging and BEV power conversion for traction drives, industrial motor drives and renewable energy generation systems such as solar and wind inverters.
SIC will become more important to the automotive industry as more manufacturers increase their investment in EV development. If every car we drive on the road is to be an EV, not only will long-haul EVs be standard, but batteries will need to be low-cost and fast-charging. Due to silicon’s large bandgap, strong breakdown electric field, and high thermal conductivity, industry is switching from silicon to SiC for power electronics. SiC-based MOSFETs achieve lower losses, higher switching frequency, and higher power density than silicon-based components.
The use of wide bandgap semiconductors in all demanding power applications cannot be separated from a careful assessment of device reliability. Reliability issues are not new to the semiconductor industry, but they have gained increased attention as vehicles use advanced semiconductor chips and materials in mission-critical applications such as traction inverters and battery chargers. Although the test section of power devices is not limited to datasheet parameters, manufacturers typically perform a variety of rapid tests, including high voltage, high temperature, and high humidity tests.
Wolfspeed’s new SpeedWall Kit is a modular evaluation platform that provides designers working with SiC components with unmatched versatility, customization and system-level testing quickly and easily. Not only does this platform provide the ability to rapidly test different topologies with a wide range of SiC products in both surface-mount and through-hole packaging. It also brings together a whole ecosystem of building blocks that allow efficient system evaluation.
“The goal of this kit is to help engineers complete the design process faster and with fewer surprises. since they can test the MOSFET in conjunction with the gate driver they want to use in their design. And test and optimize with Speedwall, even starting to design their own hardware,” said Adam Anders, manager of PMI and Power Platforms at Wolfspeed. “This reduces design risk and accelerates development time. This allows users to quickly realize the benefits of the Wolfspeed SiC.”
The kit allows engineers to configure and test controllers, gate drivers, magnetic devices and SiC for power converters, according to Wolfspeed, allowing customers to simultaneously evaluate all critical components on this evaluation platform. This strategy reduces the risk and time required to build your own system.
“This makes testing power engineers easier,” Anders said. functionality. In addition, firmware engineers can start developing some custom firmware required for their products and applications. Real high instead of low voltage controller development board can be tested in high voltage/high power design.
“When designing with SiC MOSFETs, high dV/dt and di/dt leading to low switching losses can cause problems due to stray inductance and capacitance in the layout,” he adds. “Depending on the power rating of the drive Gate drivers can also affect the switching performance of SiC MOSFETs. The Speedwall series platform allows engineers to investigate these interactions and optimize the entire gate circuit. Short-circuit protection of SiC MOSFETs is required in some applications. With SiC, the allowable short-circuit duration is shorter than that of an IGBT, requiring rapid detection and shutdown. Some gate driver daughterboards have short circuit protection. This allows engineers to fine-tune the threshold and duration of the sense cycle.
The platform consists of a motherboard, a power daughter board, a gate driver board, an auxiliary control board. Designers can test Wolfspeed standalone devices up to 1200V in conjunction with a variety of third-party gate driver options using a “drop-in” approach. voltage package type and power topology to support almost any application.
Engineers can quickly replace SiC devices by replacing the powered daughterboard without soldering. While maintaining a low inductance connection to the DC bus for best switching performance, SiC is an excellent solution for 1,200V, which is harder for lateral GaN technologies to achieve such power levels.
The new Speedwall series allows designers to customize gate drive systems and gauges:
- Qrrand switching loss (EON, EOFF, ERR)
- Timing (TDELAY-ON, TDELAY-OFF, TRISE, TFALL)
- Overshoot (VDS-MAX, ID-MAX)
- Switching speed (di/dt, dV/dt)