Another bright idea

Infineon Technologies today announced the launch of LightMOS, a new member of its IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) product family.

Infineon Technologies today announced a new member of its IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) product family.

The new LightMOS IGBTs is said to offer a cost-optimised alternative to MOSFETs (metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors) typically used in Electronic Lamp Ballasts (ELB) for fluorescent tubes, allowing a 1-to-1 replacement at approximately a 15 percent lower price with same functionality.

Compared to conventional magnetic lamp ballasts, use of the ELBs can reduce the power consumption of lighting systems by up to 25 percent annually. According to Infineon, this has the potential to significantly reduce worldwide energy consumption for artificial lighting.

The LightMOS IGBTs, which are intended for use in ballast inverters as a 600 V blocking power switch and are optimised for switching frequencies between 40 and 60 kHz, are available now.

LightMOS IGBTs, which are the first in the industry to have powerful monolithically integrated reverse diodes, exhibit the low power losses of a MOSFET and the low temperature dependency of an IGBT. This makes lamp ballast design easier, faster and more cost-effective.

Improved reliability is achieved due to the characteristic IGBT temperature behaviour, which has less risk of the thermal run away that is a critical consideration with MOSFETs. In addition, the LightMOS IGBTs combine Infineon’s FieldStop technology with a Trench cell (TrenchStop technology) for lowest conduction and switching losses, and can be applied much closer to its specification limits.

The advantages of TrenchStop technology include an exceptional ruggedness and short-circuit withstanding capability, increased reliability, and low electromagnetic interference (EMI).

The FieldStop structure within the power devices ensures a significant reduction in the tail current that occurs during turn-off switching, and the Trench cell limits conduction losses to a minimum due to extremely low saturation voltage. As a result, less heat is generated.

The new LightMOS IGBTs are available in DPak and D2Pack packages, resulting in cost advantages of about 15 percent on the device level. LightMOS devices in DPak packages can replace 1.5-to-3 Ohm MOSFETs. LightMOS products also are available in TO-220 and TO-220 Fullpack packages, and can replace 1 Ohm MOSFETs when appropriate cooling is applied.

The new LightMOS IGBTs are available now in sample quantities, with volume availability planned in mid-November 2003. In quantities of 50k units, the price per unit is below US $0.27 (below 0.25 Euros) with a 600 V, 3 A, DPak package.

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