First Aerospace-Qualified Baseless Power Module Family Improves Aircraft Electrical System Efficiency

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

August 03, 2021


First Aerospace-Qualified Baseless Power Module Family Improves Aircraft Electrical System Efficiency

Microchip Technology announced its development with Clean Sky, a joint European Commission (EC) and industry consortium, on the first aerospace-qualified baseless power modules designed to enable higher-efficiency, lighter, and more compact power conversion and motor drive systems.

Partnering with Clean Sky to support aerospace industry goals set by the EC for stricter emission standards that result in climate neutral aviation by 2050, Microchip’s BL1, BL2 and BL3 family of baseless power modules is designed to provide greater efficiency in AC-to-DC and DC-to-AC power conversion and generation through the integration of its silicon carbide power semiconductor technology.

According to the company, forty-percent lighter than others due to the modified substrate, the design also produces an approximate 10% cost savings over standard power modules that incorporate metal baseplates. Microchip’s BL1, BL2, and BL3 devices meet all mechanical and environmental compliance guidelines set forth in RTCA DO-160G, the “Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment,” Version G (August 2010). RTCA is the industry consortium that develops consensus on critical aviation modernization issues.

The modules are available in low-profile, low-inductance packaging with power and signal connectors that designers can solder directly on printed circuit boards. The same height between the modules in the family enables them to be paralleled or connected in a three-phase bridge and other topologies to achieve high-performing power converters and inverters.

The family incorporates silicon carbide MOSFETs and Schottky Barrier Diodes (SBDs) to maximize system efficiency. In packages delivering 100W to more than 10 KW of power, the BL1, BL2, and BL3 family is available in numerous topology options including phase leg, full bridge, asymmetric bridge, boost, buck, and dual common source. These high-reliability power modules are available in voltage ranges from 600V to 1200V in silicon carbide MOSFETs and IGBTs to 1600V for rectifier diodes. 

Microchip’s power module technology as well as its ISO 9000- and AS9100-certified fabrication facilities are designed to provide high-quality units through flexible manufacturing alternatives. 

The company’s baseless power modules complement its aerospace portfolio of motor drive controllers, storage integrated circuits, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), microcontrollers (MCUs), microprocessors (MPUs), timing products, semiconductors, and point-of-load regulators – providing designers with system solutions for aerospace and defense applications. Microchip also provides a full portfolio of silicon carbide technology solutions for aerospace, automotive, and industrial applications. 

Microchip provides end-to-end design support to accelerate time to market including analysis, qualification, and production. Designers can obtain numerous analysis and qualification reports on demand.

Microchip’s BL1, BL2 and BL3 baseless power modules are available as 75A and 145A silicon carbide MOSFET, 50A as IGBT, and 90A as rectifier diode outputs.

Tp purchase this solution, visit: Microchip’s purchasing portal.

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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