This section provides overview, applications, and principles of igbt modules. Also, please take a look at the list of 18 igbt module manufacturers and their company rankings.
An IGBT module is a highly integrated module that combines multiple IGBTs (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors) into a single module.
IGBTs were invented in Japan by combining the advantages of the conventionally used base current control type bipolar transistor and the gate voltage control type field effect transistor (FET), whose weaknesses were improved, with device structures and process innovations.
Initially called insulated gate bipolar transistors, they were later called IGBT, an acronym for Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor.
Although today it is called power electronics technology, IGBTs were then a special world technology for specialists only that had not seen the light of day very often. However, the use of IGBT modules, which are stored inside inverter air conditioners and other electrical appliances, has expanded dramatically, especially in high-power products, due to the use of inverters (energy-saving power conversion technology) and the use of compact, high-efficiency modules for components.
Today, it is a well-known fact that IGBTs and their modules are commonly used in products that require large amounts of power.
IGBTs are power semiconductors that employ a conventional bipolar transistor structure for the parts where large current flows, and switch the base part, which is the control part of the bipolar transistor, to a FET gate circuit structure (previously used only in signal circuits for weak power systems and capable of high-speed control with low loss). The IGBT module is a compact and highly functional module that contains multiple IGBTs, including diodes for protection circuits and ICs for drive circuits.
IGBTs also exist as individual components, and it is possible to build a circuit similar to that of a module as a single component. However, when a circuit is built as a single component, the board size is generally twice or more the size of a module, and there are concerns about the possibility of signal delays, instability, and other malfunctions due to the wiring pattern on the board.
In contrast, modularization enables high-density wiring and reliability through improved heat dissipation, making it relatively easy for users to apply IGBTs to their own products. This is the biggest advantage of using IGBT modules instead of IGBTs alone.
As an example of an actual IGBT module, a module containing six IGBTs driving a mainstream brushless motor is illustrated. The module is characterized by the fact that the module package is filled with insulating material, and the wiring inside the module is as short and thick as possible to reduce electrical losses.
The addition of a heat sink enables IGBTs to operate with clearly lower losses and higher heat dissipation than when mounted on a PCB as a single unit. Therefore, the modularization of IGBT modules enable both high efficiency operation and downsizing of the equipment compared to the use of single components.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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