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Don't forget bipolar

Bipolar transistors can match performance. By Peter Blair.

In recent years, mosfets have benefited from huge investments in technology and promotion, overshadowing bipolar devices to the degree that many designers view bipolars as ¡¥old technology¡¦. Yet developments in bipolar transistor technology allow it to rival or exceed mosfet performance in many applications. It¡¦s therefore important to review the characteristics and benefits of each technology to extract the best system performance.

The first characteristic designers consider most often is on state resistance for a given breakdown voltage. Trench mosfets give lower on resistance by allowing greater channel density. The results are spectacular ¡V especially at low breakdown voltages ¡V but current flow remains concentrated in narrow channel regions. Higher voltage mosfets also suffer from the high resistance of the lightly doped drain region, so on resistance typically increases proportionally with breakdown voltage (BV), or Rds(on) „f BV^2.6

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Author
Graham Pitcher

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