Articles from "Microelectronics News"

Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics

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More efficient power electronics for automobile applications

Ten project partners from the electronics and automobile industries have started research into more compact and efficient power-electronic control units for current hybrid and electric vehicles as part of the project “Ultracompact Power Module with Maximum Reliability” (UltiMo). “UltiMo” is being funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the funding program “Power electronics to increase energy efficiency.” The company Continental is responsible for coordination.

 

By the end of the planned project duration in June 2013, “UltiMo” is intended to have created the basis for highly efficient doublesided cooling of power semiconductors in motor control units. Previously, these were mounted on the interconnect device in the usual manner and contacted on the surface with ultrasound-welded aluminum wires. Companies and research institutes from the electronics and automobile industries are now investigating alternatives to this wire bond technique in the form of surface contacting and connection of the semiconductor surfaces. This allows for double-sided cooling of components under a lot of thermal stress, thus increasing reliability. Other advantages of the new technology include its easy integration into electric or hybrid vehicle applications, the reduced control unit volume and the reduction in the semiconductors required – and therefore in material costs. Switching loss can also be reduced by half and the power density at system level can be increased.

Demonstrator of use in road vehicles

The project partners involved want to use an electronic control unit for three-phase control of an electric motor in a road vehicle as a demonstrator for how the research results can be used. This is intended to show that the new assembly technique can withstand the stresses usual for the automobile, resulting from extreme ambient temperatures ranging from -40 to +125 ºC and strong vibrations.

High potential usability of the results

The “UltiMo” project is funded via the BMBF as part of the German federal government’s high-tech strategy and within the funding program “Power electronics to increase energy efficiency (LES).” The BMBF’s LES program seeks to improve protection of resources and the environment by creating significant energy savings in economically important sectors. In addition to the great relevance to future electric vehicles, the concepts and technologies developed will open up new customer markets due to the wide range of possible applications for power electronic modules. Potential markets include aviation, industrial propulsion, and power supply technology, railway technology, generation and distribution of electricity as well as photovoltaics and wind power. UltiMo – project partners The 10 research partners from the electronics and automobile industries are manufacturers of interconnect devices and packaging materials (ANCeram, Curamik and Heraeus), packaging technology and power modules (Bayerisches Laserzentrum, Danfoss), system suppliers for the automobile sector and members of the vehicle production industry (Continental, Volkswagen). The consortium is completed by three institutes from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT, and Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM).

 

UltiMo – project partners The 10 research partners from the electronics and automobile industries are manufacturers of interconnect devices and packaging materials (ANCeram, Curamik and Heraeus), packaging technology and power modules (Bayerisches Laserzentrum, Danfoss), system suppliers for the automobile sector and members of the vehicle production industry (Continental, Volkswagen). The consortium is completed by three institutes from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB, Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT, and Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM).

 

Contact:

 

Andreas Schletz
Phone +49 911 23568-27
andreas.schletz(at)iisb.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB
Schottkystrasse 10
91058 Erlangen
Germany
www.iisb.fraunhofer.de

 

Claus Wacker
Phone +49 4821 17-4214
claus.wacker(at)isit.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT
Fraunhoferstrasse 1
25524 Itzehoe
Germany
www.isit.fraunhofer.de

 

Georg Weigelt
Phone +49 30 46403-279
georg.weigelt(at)izm.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM
Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25
13355 Berlin
Germany
www.izm.fraunhofer.de