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Date: 21-08-22

Automotive power module for electric vehicle: market, product and features

Yole Intelligence reports the automotive power module market for xEV (Electric Vehicles) represented a market value of US$807 million in 2020 and forecast it to grow to US$3.59 billion by 2026.
High current and high-voltage handling power transistors are the key components of automotive modules. Silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs though less costing, but are hefty and generate heat with limitations in switching speed. Today's latest automotive modules use siliconcarbide (SiC) and also Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors. SiC transistors handle higher current density, and are much smaller in size, generate less heat and switch at higher speeds compared to silicon MOSFETs/IGBTs. They are also lot more power efficient. The cost of SiC devices are also falling.  Siliconcarbide is preferred for high-power applications whereas gallium nitride is a good choice for low-power applications.

The key use of automotive power modules in electric vehicles is for charging batteries and for traction inverters for driving motor.  The general range of power in electric cars is 80 KW to 200 KW. And they should handle voltages in the range of 800 V 1200 V and currents in the range of 200 A to 500 A for traction.

What's most challenging is, ensuring high level of safety of everything  and very high reliability. The safety not only includes the device failure, but also against typical automotive risk causing instances such as fire, accident, extreme weather conditions and such things.

To share you one of the latest new automotive power module recently launched include 150 Kw to 400 Kw power capable HPD series SiC power modules designed specifically for electric vehicles from Leapers Semiconductor. Robust HPD series applies silver sintering for die attach, high grade Si3N4 AMB substrates to deliver better thermal performance, and epoxy resin potting technology. Leapers' another latest ED3S series is also a high performance compact SiC MOSFET power module for mutiple automotive power drive/inverter/converter applications.  ED3S features 200V/1700V blocking voltage, low thermal resistance with Si3N4 AMB, 175°C maximum junction temperature and a thermistor inside. Compared its older ED3, this ED3S series have a 1/3 smaller footprint with its baseplate as compact as 62mm x 109mm.

Danfoss is into designing, developing and manufacturing customized IGBT power modules and MOSFET power modules for both Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Electric Vehicles (EV). Danfoss says it has developed  innovative packaging technologies such as Bond Buffer advanced bonding-and-joining-technology, ShowerPower and SP3D direct liquid cooling technology and Danfoss unique transfer moulding process that address the most challenging aspects of automotive power electronics.

STMicro's STPOWER ACEPACK SiC module optimized for 200 Kw traction inverters features: Improved light load power losses for extended EV, Extreme low conduction losses, Short circuit ruggednese, and Direct cooled Cu base plate with pin fin.

For a ready report: Yole's SystemPlus has made the Automotive Power module Comparison 2022 providing in-depth comparative review of seven automotive power modules (including three SiC power modules), with a focus on the packaging level. The modules are from Hitachi, StarPower, Vitesco Technologies, STMicroelectronics, DENSO, and Wolfspeed.

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