The Driving Force
Posted date : May 11, 2007

Infineon’s cost-effective SOI technology for driver ICs helps major appliance designers meet stringent energy and reliability parameters.

Infineon is using SOI to help tackle one of the biggest challenges faced by designers of major appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners: motor control.

Advanced motor control translates into a more sophisticated, energy-efficient, reliable, quiet and compact machine. A critical gateway between the control system and the power system is the driver IC. The driver IC takes a logic signal output from a microcontroller chip in the control system, and provides the appropriate current and voltage to turn power devices on and off.

The region around a motor in a major appliance is one of extreme temperatures and electrical and electromagnetic noise. One of the biggest concerns for the electronics is latch-up, which essentially occurs when random voltage spikes – especially negative ones – create unintended shorts of pn-junctions in the driver circuits. Therefore, the driver ICs have to be extremely robust…yet very cost-competitive.

EiceDRIVER™’s SOI Solution

Product: “EiceDRIVER™” driver ICs for major appliances, which bridge the low-voltage world of control systems and the high-voltage world of the motor.

Challenge: develop a latch-up-immune IC platform technology that can beat cheap, pn-isolated technologies in price/performance.

SOI Solution:
• eliminates latch-up because all devices are dielectrically isolated from each other
• minimizes current leakage thereby saving energy at high operating temperatures
• enables very compact design, taking 40% less space than traditional pn-isolation technologies.

SOI Advantage: cost optimized technology flow and the very robust dielectric isolation leads to very competitive driver IC products for harsh environments.


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