- Category Technical paper
- Related event International Congress : SIA POWER TRAIN & ELECTRONICS // Paris 2019 - 12 & 13 June 2019
- Subheading E. Barbarini 1, C. Troadec 2, M. Rosina 2, A. Villamor 2 // 1: System plus Consulting 2: Yole Developpement
- Edition SIA
- Date 07/01/2019
- Author E. Barbarini 1, C. Troadec 2, M. Rosina 2, A. Villamor 2 // 1: System plus Consulting 2: Yole Developpement
- Language English
Type PDF file (312.16 Ko)
(Downloadable immediately on receipt of online payment)
- Number of pages 3
- Code R-2019-01-15
- Fee Free
In recent years, several new power module designs have emerged, principally driven by the severely challenging requirements for high power density and integration from the automotive industry. Indeed, electric and hybrid cars are the best example of technology innovation in the design of power modules. The Toyota Prius’ fourth generation double-sided cooling power modules might be the most well-known example. Yet today many other module manufacturers are also proposing new designs that move away from conventional power module layers and technologies.
The innovations in power module design will not be made without impacting the materials and processes used in power module packaging. The role of the ceramic substrate and baseplate is being rethought, as in order to achieve smaller and better integrated power modules. A trend towards layer suppression has clearly been adopted in those industries where size, weight and integration is a must. Again, principally in the automotive industry, direct cooled baseplates using pin-fins have become common. They avoid the use of Thermal Interface Materials (TIMs) that are responsible for a considerable part of the thermal resistance and form voids over time, deteriorating the thermal conductivity and reliability even more. IGBT dies directly soldered to leadframes have also appeared, enabling a highly conductive substrate, but still requiring some sort of electrically insulating layer. Power modules designed for double-sided cooling will use epoxy resin encapsulation and wire-bond-free interconnections. On the substrate side, both ceramic and leadframe options could be used.
The power module market is becoming extremely competitive with several new players arriving from different directions. In recent years, we have also seen consolidation among power semiconductor market leaders with several acquisitions, such as Infineon buying International Rectifier and ON Semiconductor buying Fairchild. These moves were intended to strengthen positions in the overall power semiconductor business. Nevertheless, in coming years the market leaders will face strong competition from Tier-1 automotive manufacturers such as Denso or Bosch and new entrants from China such as Starpower and CRRC. Thereby, all companies involved in the power module market will need to adapt or rethink their offerings and especially secure their technological advances via continuous innovations.
In our presentation, we will start with market trends and illustrate how industrial applications still remain the biggest part of the power module market. We will then demonstrate that the automotive industry is leading in technological innovations in packaging, helping and accelerating the implementation of these new technologies thanks to high manufacturing volumes. We will detail these technology trends by providing real teardown and cost analysis of various power modules. We will explain how they are creating opportunities for some material suppliers, and at the same time, are transforming today’s businesses for power packaging.