Web-based Power Simulation Plays Key Role in Silicon Carbide (SiC) Design Success
October 20, 2023
The electrification of everything is driving the rapid adoption of SiC semiconductors that offer the fast-switching capabilities, lower power loss, and higher temperature performance necessary to help drive advancements in E-mobility, sustainability and industrial applications.
Realizing these benefits require a variety of SiC hardware and software tools, including a power simulator to calculate power losses and estimate the SiC device junction temperature using lab testing data for common power converter topologies in AC-DC, DC-DC and AC-DC applications.
Power simulation tools like Microchip’s MPLAB® SiC Power Simulator are critical for evaluating the performance of devices in power converter designs. They are used to both select and configure SiC device performance. This includes evaluating the impact of different gate resistances. Other key capabilities include comparing power loss and thermal performance for different devices and working conditions, as well as capturing waveforms for passive component design needs.
Microchip provides this functionality with its online MPLAB SiC Power Simulator. The tool is free of charge and enables developers to evaluate Microchip’s mSiC™ products across various topologies before committing their design to hardware. Microchip has chosen a Piecewise-Linear Electrical Circuit Simulation (PLECS)-based software environment for this tool, which was designed in collaboration with Plexim. The tool runs more quickly than general-purpose, open-source SPICE-models and is easier to set up. It is used primarily for simulating power dissipation and temperature rise with its mSiC products.
Designers who employ the MPLAB SiC Power Simulator can speed time to market through its comprehensive evaluation capabilities that deliver valuable benchmarking data, while also reducing the time it takes to select components. As an example, a power electronics designer who must decide between a 25 mΩ mSiC MOSFET and a 40 mΩ mSiC MOSFET alternative for a three-phase active front-end converter, can immediately get valuable simulation results such as the average power dissipation and peak junction temperature of the two device options, results can be overlayed to compare and contrast the differences.
An Ideal Starting Point
A tool like the MPLAB SiC Power Simulator is generally the best place for designers to start to simplify their path to market. Designers who use the tool gain valuable insights into how their SiC device will operate in their system. It also simplifies the task of evaluating and selecting a SiC device and provides insights into how it will perform across various gate resistance values. The tool ultimately enables SiC designs to launch their SiC based design with Ease, Speed and Confidence.