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Home » New Technology » Small Lightweight and Easy Assembly Ultra-Compact IPM modules

Small Lightweight and Easy Assembly Ultra-Compact IPM modules

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Small Lightweight and Easy Assembly Ultra-Compact IPM modules

Alexandar Langenbucher, Product Manager, Semikron

Important Information about Ultra-Compact IPM modules :
• 50% smaller and five times lighter than competitor module
• Available as 600V CIB and 1200V SixPack version for up to 15kW.
• Integrated driver in SOI technology for latch-up effect protection
• Fast, Solder-free screw assembly for power and gate terminals
• Optional pre-printed thermal paste layer

1] J. Flood, A. Sharma," The Worldwide Market for Power Semiconductor Discretes & Modules 2008", IMS Study 2008, S. 104
2] F.Lang U.Scheuermann, "Reliability of Spring Pressure Contacts under environment Stress", Microelectronics Reliability 47 (2007), 1761-1766
3] B. Vogler, M. Robberg, R.Herzer, L. Reusser, T. Wurm, "600V Converter/ Inverte/Brake (CIB)-Module with integrated SOI gate Driver for medium Power Applications", Publications for CIPS 2008

The Ultra Compact MiniSKiiP IPM intelligent power module is setting new standards for power density in IPM modules in medium-power applications of upto 15kW. At just 55g and with an area of 30cm2, this modules in less than half the size of conventional IPM and modules in this power class. This module boasts spring contact technology and quick-connect, solder-frequency converts designs and optimised production processes into the bargain. These modules are also available with a thermal paste layer that helps boast process reliability and simplify production logistics. These properties make the modules ideal for use in applications in the drives, frequency converter and energy supply markets.

Small Area for Compact Design
In the power electronics industry every new chip generation offers increased power density coupled with decreasing chip areas. Power modules have long since followed this trend, too especially the fastest growing power module area is one of the most important factors that influence the shape and size of the heat sink is defined by the power loss and the outer dimensions of the module. The MiniSKiiP IPM from Semikron now allows for more compact frequency converters designs in the 15kW power range. At just 30 cm2, this module fulfils the need for modules with small-sized heat sinks and equally compact power circuitry, a factor that reduces overall materials costs. This module is available in 600V CIP and 1200V six-pack topologies featuring high-voltage integrated circuit (HVIC) drives in SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) technology to protect the active components from the latch--up effect. At 459x52mm2, this module is at least 50% smaller than comparable intelligent power modules in this power class.

Lightweight Design
The weight of power modules is important for component handling during assembly, as well as for the reliability of electrical contacts under shock and vibration for transport costs. In developments in the automotive and traction markets, as well as in auxiliary inverters systems, movement of the individual components relative to one another as a result of external vibrations is regarded as being a highly critical matter, which is why such movement is investigated in simulations and vibrations tests to assess the impact effects. The lower the individual component mass, the smaller the force of inertia acting on the electrical and mechanical connection in converters. In MiniSKiiP IPM modules, this force is five times lower than in comparable competitor modules. In addition, thanks to the use of patent-protected spring contact technology problems caused by solder fatigue are eliminated, resulting in extended modules service life, In the case of extended transport distances and widely distributed production sites, the low weight and module volume can also affect the transport costs and result in an overall reduction in costs of over 60%. At just 55g, the MiniSKiiP IPM is considerably lighter than conventional IPM modules in its class.

Easy assembly:

Solder-free single-screw mounting in the development of new converters designs, it is becoming increasingly important to factor in the need for quick and easy assembly even during the initial design stage. In fact, convoluted and complex production process result in longer processing times and , consequently, higher production costs. An important mechanical feature in this module, however, is the easy-assembly and service-friendly spring-contact load and gate terminals. Compared to conventional solders modules, where expensive automatic soldering modules, where expensive automatic soldering equipment is needed in time-consuming soldering processes, no special tools are needed to assemble MiniSKiiP IPM modules-instead, a single-screw connection is used. The printed circuit Board (PCB) power module and heat sink are firmly joined via the pressure lid. For maintenance or surviving work, this means that a single screw has to be loosened to access the components. This connection technology has a number of other advantages; the customer's PCB can be more flexible in design as the power circuit board does not have a flexible connection between the power hybrid a flexible connection between the power hybrid and the PCB that is far superior to a soldered joint, specially under thermal or mechanical load conditions which can affect lifetime. Thanks to the good connect force provided by the springs, an interruption of the electrical contact, which can sometimes occur in plug-in contacts under harsh ambient conditions, can be ruled out. The compression that the springs apply when the module is fully assembled lies between 20 and 100 N/mm2. This ensures an air-tight, reliable electrical connection. The plastic housing presses the power hybrid evenly onto the heat sink, which accounts for the good thermal properties known from MiniSKiiP technology. Therefore the drivers and gate resistors that are directly soldered onto the DCB are effectively cooled.

Clean Assembly with Pre-Printed Thermal Paste
To achieve a good thermal connection between a semiconductor module and a heat sink, thermal paste has to be applied to the power module. Too thick a thermal paste later has an adverse affect on the thermal resistance and increases the risk of breakage in the insulating ceramic layer during assembly. Too thin a layer, by contract, cannot guarantee heat transfer, which leads to thermal overload in the power semiconductor chips and ultimately reduces overall module lifetime. The thermal paste can be applied to the module in two different ways. Many users use a foam rubber rolled for thermal paste applications. Others use printing which produces reproducible results but requires special and costly tools. At Semikron. 10 years of experience have taught us how to apply the optimal thickness of thermal paste in an economical printing process that provides a +/- 10mm degree of accuracy. The finished modules containing thermal paste layer are transported in patent-protected transport packaging and can be stored for up to 18 months. This makes a assembly incredibly simple: the modules are simply removed from the packaging and placed onto the heat sink. The thermal paste applications state is no longer needed. Plus, there is no risk of the paste being smudged or smeared accidentally.

Increase Yield With Pre-Tested Systems

In the development of new power electronic device more and more emphasis is being place on the reduction of production costs. This is owing to price pressure resulting from tough competition between different manufacturers. Part of the development costs for a frequency converter are incurred due to product qualification and release tests that are carried up to the start if series production. Another cost factor in series production is the intermediate and final testing as well as function test on the finished product. In IPM modules, a qualified system comprising driver and power part already exists. This means shorter indesign and qualification times and consequently, shorter development times. Customer testing requirements for series production are also reduced, which ultimately means lower overall manufacturing costs. In sum, the MiniSKiiP IPM can help reduce development and production costs.(EEW)

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