Press Release


Three times the service life of conventional drivers

IGBT driver for inverter outputs up to 1.5MW


Nuremberg, 23 November 2010 - The new SKYPER 42 is a highly robust driver for control of 400 – 2000 Ampere IGBT modules. Boasting a mean time between failures of more than two million hours, the service life of this driver is triple that of standard IGBT drivers. The optimised layout featuring unique electromagnetic shielding and integrated short-pulse suppression guarantees protection from external interference. The SKYPER 42 driver charges up to 50µC, making it suitable for use in inverter systems up to 1.5MW.


Ruggedness starts with the controller side of the driver. The SKYPER 42 driver switches at interference-free 15V and uses short-pulse suppression to reject pulse interference. Signal and power transmission is done by way of purpose-developed transformers which, thanks to their very low coupling capacitance, display twenty five percent more voltage resistance than conventional IGBT drivers. The control voltages for the IGBTs are stabilised on the secondary side, thus enabling steady and reliable IGBT module control. The optimised mass concept and the shielded PCB enable a hundred percent increase in interference immunity over the levels specified in the EN standard.


Thanks to extensive qualification measures and application-like conditions throughout the entire development process, the SKYPER 42 driver achieves a MTBF as per SN29500 of more than two million hours, making it last three times as long as a standard IGBT driver.


SKYPER 42 is a dual-channel IGBT driver for 600V, 1200V and 1700V IGBT modules. With a maximum output current of 150 mA and a maximum switching frequency of 100 kHz, this driver is suitable for IGBT modules of up to 2000 A.


The use of integrated power and signal transformers means that the customer no longer has to include his own costly, discrete isolation solutions or corresponding protection which is needed in driver ICs. The integrated power unit concept generates the +15/-8V gate voltage from 15V input voltage, meaning the customer needs no additional power units.


Easy integration into your system is possible thanks to the use of SKYPER 42 adapter boards. IGBT triggering is symmetrical and, in the case of modules connected in parallel, carried out with separate signals for each chip. This reduces voltage and current peaks and enables highly efficient module control which makes full use of the potential offered by new, fast switching IGBT chips. Additional measures for overvoltage reduction such as active clamping are thus superfluous.


The SKYPER 42 driver was developed on the basis of years of experience in this market with the SKYPER 32 and 52 drivers. The need for low heat build-up, high resistance to external interference, compact dimensions and easy integration - key requirements across various industrial areas - were factored into the development of the new driver. The result is SKYPER 42, a reliable dual-channel IGBT driver that will weather out any industrial life cycle.


Caption: SKYPER 42 boasts three times the service life of standard drivers for use in inverter systems with outputs of up to 1.5MW.



Semikron is an internationally leading power semiconductor manufacturer. Founded in 1951, the German-based family enterprise employs 3200 people worldwide. Semikron comprises a global network of 35 companies with production plants in China, Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil, USA, Italy, France, Slovakia and Germany that guarantees fast and competent on-site customer care.



The products range from chips, discrete semiconductors, transistor, diode and thyristor power modules to customer specific solutions and integrated power electronic systems for applications from one kilowatt into the Megawatt range. Semikron is the market leader in the field of diode/thyristor semiconductor modules, enjoying a 37% share of the worldwide market. (Source: IMS Research „The worldwide market for power semiconductor discretes and modules“2008).



Semikron technology powers nearly half of the globally installed wind power capacity. According to a survey carried out by BTM Consult ApS, the total wind power capacity installed until 2009 was 122 Gigawatt. 57 Gigawatt comprises semiconductors from Semikron. “Semikron inside” has become a trademark for markets such as industrial drives, power supplies, renewable energy, battery vehicles and the rail industry. The dedication to the electric and hybrid vehicle market was further strengthened with the 50/50 joint venture between Semikron and Magna Electronics and the majority take-over of Compact Dynamics GmbH. As a significant innovator in the power electronics sector, many of Semikron’s progressive developments have been accepted as industrial standards.




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