SiC E-Fuse demonstrator offers protection for power electronics in EV applications

Update: May 12, 2023

Microchip Technology has released the E-Fuse Demonstrator Board, enabled by SiC technology, offered in six variants for 400–800 battery systems and with a current rating of up to 30A.

Because of its high-voltage solid-state design, the E-Fuse demonstrator can detect and interrupt fault currents in microseconds, 100–500 times faster than conventional mechanical approaches. The quick response time greatly decreases peak short-circuit currents from tens of kilo-amps to hundreds of amps, which can stop a fault event from resulting in a hard failure.

“The E-Fuse demonstrator provides BEV/HEV OEM designers with a SiC-based technology solution to jumpstart their development process with a faster, more reliable method for protecting power electronics,” said Clayton Pillion, vice president of Microchip’s silicon carbide business unit. “The E-Fuse solid-state design also alleviates long-term reliability concerns about electromechanical devices because there is no degradation from mechanical shock, arcing or contact bounce.”

With the demonstrator’s resettable feature, designers can readily package an E-Fuse in the vehicle without burdening design-for-serviceability constraints. This lessens design complexities and allows flexible vehicle packaging to improve the distribution of BEV/HEV power systems.

OEMs can speed up the development of SiC-based auxiliary applications with the demonstrator because of the built-in LIN communication interface. The LIN interface allows the configuration of the over-current trip characteristics without the necessity to modify hardware components, and it also reports diagnostic status.

The demonstrator leverages the unrivalled ruggedness and performance of the company’s SiC mosfet technology and PIC microcontrollers’ CIPs with a LIN-based interface. The companion components are automotive-qualified and deliver a lower part count and higher reliability over a discrete design.

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