Renesas has launched six new microcontrollers targeted toward expanded adoption in high-current load switch applications such as motor and heater control circuits.
The new intelligent power devices (IPDs) are particularly designed for automotive motor and heater control applications. The devices provide an “extremely reliable, high-performance solution compared with mechanical relays that switch the current flow on and off in electronic control units (ECUs)”, says Renesas.
An IPD is a power IC device that integrates in a single package control circuits that implement protection functions and self-diagnostic functions, in addition to power MosFet (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) switching element(s). The IPDs are compact, lightweight, power efficient, and not subject to the contact wear and tear that affects mechanical relays, enabling highly reliable systems with self-protection functions, says Renesas.
Previously, most ECUs used relays as the switching elements in their drive circuits, with the average automobile using around 100 relays. The transition from mechanical relays to semiconductor switching began in applications like lighting control, and the trend is expanding to other automotive systems, such as motor and heater control, driving demand for highly reliable and high-performance semiconductor switching devices. [Read more…] about Renesas launches new microcontrollers for automotive applications