Today the average vehicle will have in the region of 60-70 (electronic control units) ECUs and high-end luxury models can easily possess 150 or more. The increased quantity of electronics content has, in itself, a variety of serious implications for engineering teams, while external forces are also influencing certain key aspects of automobile design.
International legislative guidelines mean that car manufacturers need to lessen the impact that their models have on the environment - with increasingly ambitious targets being set in relation to fuel economy.
Likewise, the continued growth of the electric vehicle/hybrid electric vehicle (EV/HEV) segment brings considerable engineering challenges. To increase consumer appeal, improvements need to be made both to the distance that EVs can travel and also the speed with which they can be recharged. Reducing the overall weight of cars is of mounting importance to combustion engine and EV based designs in equal measures. In both cases it is resulting in system downsizing that is consequently demanding elevated power densities.
Through innovations being made in semiconductor processes and the accompanying packaging technology, there are more advanced MOSFET devices now being brought on to the market. By utilising copper clips for internal bonding, significant improvements can be made to MOSFET electrical and thermal properties. It means that they can support elevated power densities and, in addition, exhibit enhanced heat dissipation capabilities. Combining this with the benefits of the latest trench topologies, results in marked improvements in performance - bringing greater operational efficiencies. These power discretes are thereby able to outclass existing alternatives and fully address the exacting demands being placed upon them by the automobile industry.
A comprehensive white paper covering the issues effecting automobile power system design, and the new breed of MOSFETs that will attend to these, has been published by Toshiba. For more information visit: