Electronics and Semiconductors

SiC-enabled demo board for better battery design

12 June 2023

High-voltage electrical subsystems throughout battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) require a mechanism to protect the high-voltage distribution and loads in the event of an overload condition. To provide BEV and HEV designers with a faster and more reliable high-voltage circuit protection solution, Microchip Technology offers the E-Fuse demonstrator board, enabled by silicon carbide (SiC) technology, available in six variants for 400 V to 800 V battery systems and with a current rating up to 30 amps.

The E-Fuse demonstrator can detect and interrupt fault currents in microseconds, 100 to 500 times faster than traditional mechanical approaches because of its high-voltage solid-state design. The fast response time substantially reduces peak short-circuit currents from tens of kilo-amps to hundreds of amps, which canSource: Microchip TechnologySource: Microchip Technology prevent a fault event from resulting in a hard failure.

“The E-Fuse demonstrator provides BEV/HEV OEM designers with a SiC-based technology solution to jumpstart their development process with a faster, more reliable method for protecting power electronics,” said Clayton Pillion, vice president of Microchip’s silicon carbide business unit. “The E-Fuse solid-state design also alleviates long-term reliability concerns about electromechanical devices because there is no degradation from mechanical shock, arcing or contact bounce.”

With the E-Fuse demonstrator’s resettable feature, designers can easily package an E-Fuse in the vehicle without the burden of design-for-serviceability constraints. This reduces design complexities and enables flexible vehicle packaging to improve BEV/HEV power system distribution.

OEMs can accelerate development of SiC-based auxiliary applications with the E-Fuse demonstrator because of the built in local interconnect network (LIN) communication interface. The LIN interface enables the configuration of the over-current trip characteristics without the need to modify hardware components, and it also reports diagnostic status.

The E-Fuse demonstrator leverages the ruggedness and performance of Microchip’s SiC metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) technology and PIC microcontrollers’ Core Independent Peripherals with a LIN-based interface. The companion components are automotive-qualified and yield a lower part count and higher reliability over a discrete design.

Microchip’s SiC power solutions provide the industry’s broadest and most flexible portfolio of MOSFETs, diodes and gate drivers in bare die, discretes, modules and customizable power modules.

The E-Fuse demonstrator board is supported by MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment to enable customers to quickly develop or debug software. The LIN Serial Analyzer development tool allows customers to easily send and receive serial messages from a PC to the E-Fuse demonstrator board.

To contact the author of this article, email GlobalSpecEditors@globalspec.com


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