Infineon targets energy efficient home appliances with innovative power switching devices

Infineon Technologies AG has introduced a family of power switching devices for use in high energy efficiency electric motor drives of home appliances.

The new 600 V IGBT RC-Drives family enables more cost-effective design of variable speed electric motors, which can reduce the energy consumption of appliances by up to 30 percent in many applications.

Variable speed motor drives in such appliances as washing machines, refrigerator compressors, inverterised air conditioners, and dishwashers use electronic controls and a switching power supply to obtain the best efficiency under different usage conditions. The IGBT RC-Drives family integrates Infineon's market leading TRENCHSTOP IGBT technology and a free-wheeling diode into a single die resulting in a device with low conduction losses and package shrink compared to competitor solutions. This in turn allows for a reduction in the system circuit board area and heat sink size, plus can reduce the overall motor drive system cost by up to 10 percent.

The IGBT RC-Drives family is available in 4 A, 6 A, 10 A and 15 A current classes in two package types: DPAK (TO-252) and IPAK (TO-251) both with dimensions of 2.30 mm x 6.50 mm x 7.22 mm in size. This enables the design of variable speed drives from 30W up to 2 kW in a small compact package, where competitor suppliers in this application segment can only offer the larger D 2PAK (TO-263) or TO-220 packages with dimensions of 9 mm x 10 mm x 4.5 mm. By optimizing circuit board layout for the Infineon 15 A device, a manufacturer of electric motor drives for home appliances can reduce the area needed for IGBTs by up to 50 percent. This reduces material costs and provides flexibility in design.

The family has been optimized with a low saturation voltage V ce(sat) of 1.65 V, which is ideal for switching frequencies typically seen in home appliances of 4 kHz to 15 kHz, since at these frequencies, conduction losses are the most dominant losses. This prevents thermal issues even when using the highest current devices under full load conditions. Additionally, low EMI levels are exhibited thanks to Infineon's TRENCHSTOP IGBT technology which is renowned for its excellent soft switching behavior. EMI measurements have shown a 10 percent improvement in EMI behaviour over the closest competitor and in a kitchen environment where there are many electronic devices this is an important feature.

Availability and Pricing

The IGBT RC-Drives family, which offers low conduction losses and area space saving is available in 600 V voltage class and is available in high-volume quantities to order. For sample quantities, pricing ranges from $0.30 (600V, 4A) to $0.54 (600 15A).

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