Posted on 01 October 2019

Interview on Power Technology with Dan Kinzer, Senior VP of Analog, MOSFET, and Packaging Technology

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By Bodo Arlt, Editor BP


Bodo Arlt: What end markets will drive power semiconductor technology?

Dan Kinzer: Power device technology is largely driven by the mobile, computing, communications, and industrial markets. Each market drives different portions of the entire range of devices. Mobile applications drive highly integrated solutions and very low voltage device technologies. Computing and communications drive low and medium voltage FET technology for DC-DC and high voltage FET technology for AC-DC. Industrial applications drive IGBT technology for higher power levels. Each of these markets also drives power semiconductor packaging in different aspects. Mobile applications require ultra-thin, tiny pitch and small footprint packages such as MicroPak™ and MicroFET ™ as well as BGA and wafer-level CSP. Computing and communications require larger power packages with low resistance and better thermals such as the PQFN Power56 and Power33, as well as integrated System-in-Package products like DrMOS and Tiny Buck™. Industrial applications favor integrated solutions as well, such as Smart Power Modules (SPM™).

Dan Kinzer

Bodo Arlt: How do you see Fairchild’s market position?

Dan Kinzer: Fairchild is extremely well-positioned in the market. We are number one in power transistors in terms of market share, and we are generating advanced technology solutions faster than our competition. We have a great line-up of integrated solutions, which include world class applications and design know-how. Fairchild is the Power Franchise®, and we have solutions for the vast majority of power electronic system requirements. And in these power electronic systems, these solutions enable energy-efficient applications to meet existing or emerging energy efficiency specifications.

BodoArlt: What are the technologies that can offer innovation for leadership?

Dan Kinzer: There is quite a long list. Analog and mixed signal IC technology such as we have in high frequency DC-DC converters, analog switches, filters, transceivers, and serializers-deserializers for mobile applications; analog and digital controllers, drivers, FETs, and multi-chip assemblies for computing and communications; power factor correction (PFC) devices, primary side control ICs, integrated Fairchild Power Switches (FPS™) with advanced superjunction devices and hyperfast diodes, and synchronous rectification for high efficiency power supplies; Field Stop Trench and non-punch through (NPT) IGBTs, high voltage control ICs, and SPM devices for appliance and industrial brushless DC inverters for high efficiency motor applications. The list goes on and on.

Bodo Arlt: Is it more in silicon, or is it part of packaging technology?

Dan Kinzer: One cannot perform without the other, and both are fertile ground for innovation. Packaging innovation is the major enabler of overall system size reduction, and enables efficient heat transfer and interconnection to the system environment. On the other hand, ever-improving devices are continuously raising the bar for system efficiency. Both need to be combined with clever topology selection and control methodology to offer the best overall cost and performance.

Bodo Arlt: What makes Fairchild different from traditional discrete suppliers?

Dan Kinzer: I'm not sure what you mean by traditional. There are some suppliers who have never really advanced beyond the early days of power semiconductors, offering little other than outdated diode and transistor technology. Others attempt to follow the leaders and come up with similar technology to offer at low commodity prices. Still others attempt to offer value-added system solutions, but can only do this across a narrow spectrum of the power electronics industry and lack the manufacturing footprint to do this effectively. Fairchild has the latest technology across a wide application spectrum, and can provide complete solutions that fit the application requirement. Our combination of focus and scale allows us to offer the best products and the best value.

Bodo Arlt: How much is Fairchild involved in the end customer’s application?

Dan Kinzer: That depends on the application. We think about all the aspects of our customer's application of our products, and about how our solutions affect their customers. If you consider a complicated end product such as an automobile, we think about specific aspects such as how our engine control or steering system products affect fuel economy, performance, and handling. With our display or audio products, we have to concern ourselves with the perception of the end user, eliminating distortion, flicker, unintended audible noise, etc. We need to offer convenience, reduced size and weight, energy efficiency, and reliable operation to all of our users.

Bodo Arlt: How much is Fairchild involved in motion applications using the advantage of IGBTs?

Dan Kinzer: We are quite involved. Motion is the top application for our Smart Power Modules. We are actively working on complete motion control solutions in powers ranging from less than 100W up to several kilowatts. This will include the motion control mixed signal ASIC as well as the high voltage drivers, fast recover rectifiers and IGBTs. In recent years, we have introduced multiple IGBT technologies, including Trench, non-punchthough (NPT), and a unique type of Field Stop IGBT. The new Fairchild IGBTs and rectifiers have the right combination of low on-state voltage, fast and soft switching, and short-circuit withstand capability to meet current and future 600V and 1200V design requirements. We will continue to enhance and optimize our designs for our appliance, HVAC, automotive, and industrial customers.

Bodo Arlt: What will be the target to introduce new power module products?

Dan Kinzer: We are continuously introducing new power modules, not just in motion but in power conversion, automotive, lighting, and display applications as well. The SPM family ranges in size from our new Power-SPM™ product FPP06R001 , a compact half bridge or synchronous rectifier with control and drive to the SPIM module, a full inverter power stage targeted at >5 KWatt applications. The modules are built in direct bonded copper (DBC), insulated metal substrate (IMS), ceramic, and fully encapsulated lead frame versions. We build applications understanding into all of our modules, with sense, diagnostic, and protection features and careful design to maximize system value. Each module design gives foremost consideration to effective thermal management, ruggedness, quality, and reliability.

Bodo Arlt: What will be the future for modules at high voltage and for driver technology?

Dan Kinzer: High voltage has different meanings to different applications. For utility and traction applications, it may mean 6.5KV. For us, high voltage means 600-1200V, with some solutions up to 1.7KV. The old style cap and fill modules with heavy baseplates that are standard in the industry today are gradually being replaced with lower profile, transfer molded types that are more convenient to use and much more cost-effective. Better encapsulation, interconnection, and die attach materials will greatly improve operating temperatures, power cycling capability, parasitic package inductance, and thermal resistance. The new modules will include drive, sense, and protection features, more often than not. In some cases, part or all of the control function will also be included.

Bodo Arlt: Do you expect to introduce monolithic solutions for power modules?

Dan Kinzer: Monolithic solutions are always limited in power by practical cost considerations. We offer highly cost-effective SiP module products for low voltage DC-DC and off-line AC-DC applications. These range up to 30A for 12V input DC-DC DriverMOS and up to 15A in stacked die assembly for universal line AC-DC. We also offer monolithic power and control solutions that range from WL-CSP buck regulators at 5V input and 2 Watts to TO220f green Fairchild Power Switches (green FPS™) at universal line input up to 16 Watts. In the future we will offer monolithic regulator ICs with integrated passives in tiny modules.

Bodo Arlt: Do you expect to see high voltage IC technology in the high voltage range?

Dan Kinzer: High voltage driver technology is gaining nearly universal acceptance at 600V, because of the design simplicity, availability of supply, and improving cost-effectiveness. 1200V and higher applications still predominantly use optical, transformer, capacitive, or other coupling methods together with low voltage drivers. Fairchild offers all these solutions. In the future, more designers will transition to high voltage ICs at 1200V, with the improved robustness and noise immunity these ICs can now offer.

Bodo Arlt: Who are your competitors, who you believe will stimulate the race for leadership?

Dan Kinzer: I don't want to bolster anyone's confidence or cause offense. Because of our size and breadth, we compete with every one of the power semiconductor and most of the analog players. You know who they are. Let me just say that there are many intelligent competitors that keep this field interesting, to the benefit of everyone.

Bodo Arlt: Are you ready for the future?

Dan Kinzer: If you mean personally, I have always tried to live wholeheartedly to accomplish things in the present that more rapidly achieve the vision I have for the future. This vision is one of abundant energy in all kinds of applications delivered ever more efficiently and cost-effectively with minimum unwanted environmental impact. I believe that Fairchild is very well-positioned to lead in delivering to that vision.

Bodo Arlt: Thank you, Dan, for your time and we look forward to a successful future for power semiconductors in discrete and modules.



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