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New automotive 3-phase variable speed inverter power module from Fairchild enables higher torque systems

Fairchild Semiconductor recently introduced the FTC03V455A1 a 3-phase, variable speed drive automotive power module. This device, intended for 3-Phase motor control applications under 2 kW, allows designers to reduce the overall system cost of higher power applications. This includes electric power steering (column-mount and rack-mount), electro-hydraulic power steering, electric water pumps, electric oil pumps and engine cooling fans. The FTC03V455A1 allows these applications to deliver higher torque outputs.

Additionally, power modules are more cost-effective than traditional solutions when all aspects of the power stage design (interconnections, mechanical, electrical and thermal) are considered.

The FTC03V455A1 automotive power module, through increased electronics integration, uses fewer components than discrete solutions and provides a compact system design that delivers better EMI performance, Fairchild says. The integrated DC Bus high accuracy current sense resistor enables full control of the electric motor, while the NTC thermistor provides thermal protection.

The module enables an extremely low electrical resistance path between the battery and motor, in addition to a complete separation of the control board from the high power stage. This provides high current handling capability at a reduced system cost.

The module, measuring 44.00 x 29.00 x 5.00 mm, offers designers better EMC, >1.5KV in electrical isolation and lower motor ripple. Additionally, the module provides better system reliability and easier installation.

The module, designed for automotive 12V battery systems, is rated up to 40V and 130A.



I'm surprised not to see electric A/C on the applications list.  Getting rid of the compressor belt drive and the associated leaky seals and hoses would be a double win for system life and GHG emissions; it would also decouple the compressor from the engine, allowing superior performance especially at low speeds.


That technology has been used for high efficiency Heat Pumps and A/C for 12+ years to increase SEER from 10 to 26+.

Why did it take 12+ years to find its way into automotive applications?


It’s the same type of 3-Ph AC Drive used in GM's EV1 (Impact) that dates back to the 90's.
This represents an acknowledgement and maturing of the technology as well as a broader acceptance of it.
Field-orientation control is highly complex compared to the easier to understand DC-Drive technology.
Costs are finally coming down as it gets into the main-stream, high-volume markets.

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