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The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) is a semiconductor switching device with three terminals. Its fast switching capability and high efficiency make it suitable for use in a wide range of electronic devices.
With their versatility and efficiency, IGBTs have become an essential component in modern electronics, enabling optimal performance in a wide range of applications. They are commonly used in amplifiers to switch and process complex wave patterns with pulse width modulation for optimal performance.
They are also used in AC and DC motor drives, unregulated power supplies, switch mode power supplies, traction motor control, induction heating, inverters, and as a combination of an isolated-gate FET for control input and a bipolar power transistor for switching in a single device.
The development of IGBTs has made significant strides in improving the quality and reducing the cost of electric vehicles (EVs). By using high-efficiency devices like IGBTs, EVs can achieve greater mileage, as there is less wasted power.
The latest generation of IGBTs, the silicon-based AE5 method, achieves a 10 percent reduction in power losses compared to the current AE4 devices. This advancement allows EV manufacturers to conserve battery power and extend driving range.
Additionally, the new IGBTs are about 10 percent smaller, yet retain high levels of durability, further improving their suitability for EVs. As a result, IGBTs are playing a crucial role in driving the growth and adoption of electric vehicles, making them an important technology for a sustainable future.
The IGBT is a crucial component in the operation of an electric vehicle's motor inverter. Its ability to function as a switch is particularly well-suited for this application, as the inverter is typically linked directly to the vehicle's traction motor, requiring a high voltage and a high current device like the IGBT.
The inverter uses the DC power from the vehicle’s battery to convert AC control signals into the high power necessary to turn the motor. The IGBT’s reliable performance ensures that the motor operates smoothly and efficiently, contributing to the overall performance and driving experience of the electric vehicle.
The growth of the IGBT market is anticipated to be driven by the enormous growth of the EV sector. IGBTs are a crucial component of EV power supplies and further advancements in the technology will help electric vehicles become more affordable and have a longer range.
Take for example a customer of DKSH who is a manufacturer of semiconductor solutions for various industries including automotive. They developed a chip design for IGBTs that reduces the temperature dependency of gate resistance by 50 percent, representing a significant improvement in the technology. This is expected to further improve the performance and efficiency of electric vehicles.
DKSH Technology China serves as a representative for several clients in the IGBT manufacturing process. These clients include ATV, a manufacturer of vacuum reflow equipment, Amada Weld Tech, a provider of welding solutions, and Nordson, a company that offers a range of manufacturing and inspection equipment. The equipment provided by these clients is vital to the IGBT manufacturing process, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.
Reach out to learn more about how your business can benefit from the growing IGBT industry.
Damien Teo is the General Manager, Semiconductor & Electronics at DKSH Technology China. He has over 10 years of experience in the semiconductor and electronics industry, specializing in sales and marketing, product management, and business development. His specialties are in the areas of power management, microcontrollers, and semiconductor solutions. He holds a Master’s in Business Administrative from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and a diploma in Mechatronics from Singapore Polytechnics.