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A power semiconductor used to control and convert electric power.


Power semiconductors are used in the field of power electronics. Basically, power electronics make use of solid-state electronics to control and convert electric power. The conversion is performed with various semiconductor-switching devices.

The perfect switch would have infinite speeds, zero on-state resistances and infinite off-state resistances. Unfortunately, the perfect switch doesn’t exist. So, engineers must look at several factors when evaluating chips, such as voltage, current, switching speed, load and temperature.

Today, there are several devices to choose from. On the transistor front, the entry-level market is served by traditional power MOSFETs, which are used in 10- to 500-volt applications. Developed in 1976, power MOSFETs are based on a double-diffused (DMOS) architecture. They are silicon-based vertical structures, meaning the current flows from the source at the top to the drain at the bottom.

Super-junction power MOSFETs, which are souped-up versions of power MOSFETs, are used in 500- to 900-volt applications. Super-junction power MOSFETs are vertical devices. They also consist of pillar structures in the body, confining the electric field in the epi region.

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