This section provides overview, applications, and principles of power modules. Also, please take a look at the list of 30 power module manufacturers and their company rankings.
A power module is a product that combines multiple power semiconductors and integrates power supply-related circuits in a single package. It can be used to reduce the size of electronic devices and improve productivity during manufacturing.
By combining the necessary functions in an IC (semiconductor integrated circuit) and optimizing the low-power design, power modules are used in a wide range of fields, including industrial equipment used in factories, large white goods, automobiles, railroads, and new energy sources. The market is still growing rapidly.
and new energy sources.
The most familiar example of power semiconductors is the inverter in air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and so on. The inverter can control the speed of the motor by converting the frequency.
By freely changing the speed of the motor, the inverter can reduce wasteful motion and contribute to energy conservation. In contrast, an air conditioner without an inverter can only turn the motor on and off, so the repetition of extreme movements, such as running and stopping the air conditioner, results in wasteful power consumption.
The inverter controls the speed of the motor and is also used in electric vehicles such as HEVs and EVs. The drive of an automobile must not only be on/off but must also detect and control the tires spinning. Without this control, the vehicle will slip. In areas where snow falls, power must be applied to the tires safely and efficiently, and controlling the power to the motor is essential.
Among power semiconductors, power transistors have the widest range of applications and are the subject of much technological development.
Bipolar transistors have a simple structure and can handle large amounts of power but have the disadvantages of slow switching speed and high power consumption.
Power MOSFETs (FETs: Field Effect Transistors) have the advantage of the fastest switching speeds and low power consumption. Still, they also have the disadvantage of not being able to handle large amounts of power.
Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs), developed in the 1980s, can handle large amounts of power and offer a switching capability not much inferior to that of MOSFETs. The circuit configuration combines a MOSFET and a BJT (Bipolar Junction Transistor).
*Including some distributors, etc.
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