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Rohm’s Power Lab aims to make the design process quick and easy

Aly Mashaly, manager of the power systems department, Rohm

After one and half years and approval from TÜV, the doors to Rohm’s Power Lab are open for business. Located at the European Headquarter facilities in Willich-Münchheide, the lab has been created to support electronic engineers in the design of power devices.

Christian Felgemacher, a Rohm application engineer, explained that the main aim is to ‘perform measurements as close as possible to the application the customer is using’. The hope is to provide designers with greater insight of data, which will enable Rohm to help its customers with the design effort, as well as offer insight into best component selection.

“Engineers are faced with challenges such as limited time and resources,” Aly Mashaly, manager of the power systems department, said. “They need data which shows how to use power devices in their application in the best way.”

The Power Lab is designed in-house, which Mashaly said was to ensure quality, keep know-how internally-based and allow for easy modification if ever needed.

However, safety was crucial in the design process, as this is the first time Rohm is capable of dealing with voltages of up to 1000V.

The in-house design process has enabled the test benches to be tailored specifically to Rohm’s requirements, providing it with the flexibility it needed to test a variety of devices and allow for control over safety measures.

ROHM can electrically characterise all of its semiconductor components, such as SiC MOSFET Transistor, SiC Diode, IGBT, Si Power MOSFET Transistor and Gate driver, with voltages up to 8000V DC.

The power test bench enables tests on AC/DC, DC/DC, DC/AC and AC/AC converters under real application conditions up to 15kVA. High- precision measurements of efficiency and losses can also be performed with power analysers. The bench also features an AC power supply (grid emulator) and electronic loads (AC and DC). Maximum voltages under test are 1500V DC and 400V AC.

The lab is also comparing the performance of different silicon carbine MOSFETS against IGBTs and looking at the possible advantages of silicon carbine in applications of grid connected front ends in both industrial applications and EV charging.

The overall hope is that the lab will not only reduce time to market, but also indirectly help with the development of new products and chips by sending feeding the results and issues customers raise back to the Rohm headquarters in Japan.

Bethan Grylls

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