Power switching devices target energy-efficient appliances

Neubiberg, Germany — Infineon Technologies AG has introduced a family of power switching devices for high-energy-efficiency electric motor drives in home appliances. The 600-V IGBT RC-Drives family (RC for Reverse-Conducting) enables a cost-effective design of variable speed electric motors, which can reduce the energy consumption of appliances by up to 30 percent in many applications, says Infineon. The devices also offer up to a 60 percent savings on the printed-circuit-board (PCB).

Variable speed motor drives in appliances such as washing machines, refrigerator compressors, inverterized air conditioners and dishwashers use electronic controls and a switching power supply to obtain the best efficiency under different usage conditions, says Infineon.

The insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) RC-Drives family integrates Infineon’s TRENCHSTOP IGBT technology and a free-wheeling diode into a single die, which delivers low conduction losses and a smaller package size. Together, this enables a reduction in the system circuit board area and heat sink size, and can reduce the overall motor drive system cost by up to 10 percent, according to the company.

The IGBT RC-Drives family is available in 4 A (Ampere), 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 x 6.50 x 7.22-mm. This enables the design of variable speed drives from 30 W up to 2 kW in a small compact package. Infineon says competitor suppliers in this application segment can only offer the larger D2PAK (TO-263) or TO-220 packages with dimensions of 9 x 10 x 4.5-mm.


For example, by optimizing the 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 greater design flexibility, according to Infineon.

The family has been optimized with a low saturation voltage Vce(sat) of 1.65 V, which is well-suited 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, says Infineon.

This prevents thermal issues even when using the highest current devices under full load conditions, says Infineon. In addition, low electromagnetic interference (EMI) levels are exhibited thanks to Infineon’s TRENCHSTOP IGBT technology. EMI measurements have shown a 10 percent improvement in EMI behavior over the closest competitor, according to the company.

Availability: Now in high-volume quantities.
Pricing: Ranges from $0.30 (600V, 4A) to $0.54 (600 15A) for sample quantities.
Resources: Product brief.