Electronica: Fairchild sampling SiC transistors

Fairchild has started sampling its first Silicon Carbide product – bipolar junction transistors (BJTs).

“We’re sampling to the industry now,” Fairchild’s Mats Reimark, told EW. Asked for the application, Reimark replied: “Anything that benefits from higher switching frequencies.”

A production line for SiC devices is being set up at a foundry.

Although a four inch SiC wafer costs $1000, SiC transistors offer systems cost savings, said Reimark. “You get the best conduction loses and the best switching losses, so SiC takes you to a better position when it comes to losses. With an increase in switching frequencies and lower losses you can increase the power density of the system.”

Capacitors, inductors and heatsinks can be smaller delivering system cost savings of up to 20%, says Fairchild.

Fairchild claim is that the SiC BJTs enable higher switching frequencies due to lower conduction and switching losses (ranging from 30-50%) that provide up to 40% higher output power in the same system form factor.

Fairchild has developed discrete driver boards (a 15A and 50A version) that, when used with the SiC BJTs, provide increased switching speeds for reduced switching losses and better reliability.

Fairchild’s claims for the SiC BJTs include that they’re the most efficient 1200V power conversion switch ever made; they have the lowest total losses, including switching, conduction and driver losses; and they have the lowest switching loss at any given RON, of all 1200V devices.

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