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Replacing wire bonds enhances automotive MOSFET performance and reliability

Incremental improvements deliver significant benefits to high-power automotive applications

Modern automobiles contain an unprecedented amount of electronics and the level of electronic content in vehicles is set to continue to grow. The drive for efficiency comes in part from legislation designed to protect our environment and also from consumers who want to reduce their motoring bills. Automakers are striving to meet these challenges by moving to electric propulsion and replacing many mechanical and hydraulic systems with smaller, lighter and more efficient electrical alternatives.

In a bid to improve road safety, automakers are also adding new driver assistance features including object detection / avoidance, lane departure warning and many more. Ultimately, these systems will lead to the final goal of completely self-driving vehicles.

While the microcontrollers and associated software provide the intelligence and functionality behind of each of these systems, they would be wholly useless without the all-important MOSFET technology that allows the switching of loads such as fans, pumps and motors – turning the ‘thought’ into ‘action’. In every application, the MOSFET is used to switch power, whether hundreds of amperes for the main drivetrain or just a couple of amperes for a small door mirror. As a result, improving the efficiency and thermal performance of MOSFETs has a significant impact on the overall efficiency of the vehicle.

The technology within Toshiba’s MOSFETs is constantly being improved to enhance performance, particularly breakdown voltage, switching speed and the all-important on-resistance that directly affects efficiency. One  that Toshiba has paid particular attention to is the wire bonds that connect the silicon to the MOSFET package. Often overlooked, these wire bonds can restrict the current capability.

Toshiba is unique amongst automotive power MOSFET suppliers in that, for the past 10 years, they have been using copper clip connectors for internal bonding in large power packages, replacing the conventional wire bonding. Since 2011 and 2015 respectively this has included the popular DPAK and D2PAK packages.

Not only does the use of copper clips increase the current capability, it also reduces the on-resistance and enhances the efficiency of these devices.

This is just one of a number of MOSFET enhancements available from Toshiba. They have produced a comprehensive white paper discussing their innovative approach to MOSFET design and the correct approach to selecting MOSFETs for automotive applications. To download your copy, please click here:

Click here to learn more about selecting MOSFETs for automobile power design

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