New Transistor Technology to Deliver Efficient Power Conversion

By CIOReview | Wednesday, September 2, 2015
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AUSTIN, TX: Ideal Power, a developer of advanced power conversion technologies, releases a whitepaper describing a new power semiconductor switch called the Bi-directional Bipolar Junction TRANsistor (B-TRAN). The whitepaper describes the method of operation and implications of the B-TRAN as a replacement for conventional power switches.

B-TRAN has a simple, 3 layer, 4 terminal, vertically symmetric double sided structure which presents unique opportunities for high current density operation at high efficiency. B-TRAN can be effectively utilized in power conversion and control applications such as low loss AC power control and in power converters from Ideal Power and other power converters from OEMs.

Ideal Power has secured five U.S. patents for B-TRAN and its methods of operations. The development of the B-TRAN has been supported by a U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) award to create new bi-directional IGBT (BD-IGBT) power switches.Bi-directional switches gain advantage over uni-directional power switches by conducting current and blocking voltage in both directions.  B-TRAN combines the bi-directional functionality of the BD-IGBT with exceptionally low losses. Both BD-IGBT and B-TRAN have been extensively studied in detailed, physics based simulations, and the semiconductor processes to build prototype devices are in development.

"These B-TRAN patents, along with other pending Ideal Power patents covering methods of double sided power switch manufacturing and operation, extend our intellectual property portfolio into power semiconductors, which we believe could significantly improve power conversion efficiency in a wide range of applications including AC power control, Ideal Power's Power Packet Switching Architecture (PPSA) topology, conventional power converters and non-conventional power converters," says Bill Alexander, CTO, Founder, Ideal Power and a B-TRAN co-inventor.