VIPower™ is a technology developed by ST and in production since 1991. Vertical Intelligent Power technologies provide control, protection and diagnostics for medium/high power automotive loads. The technology combines Vertical Double Diffused MOS Power devices with their own temperature and current sensors and CMOS and HV components for Power-Analog-Mixed design.
In the latest configuration of the technology, TrenchFET Power Devices are integrated to provide a 35% reduction in the Ron resistance compared to the previous DMOS structures.
A wide range of Automotive Applications
In VIPower devices, as with standard discrete power MOSFETs, the substrate represents the common terminal (drain) of the multiple Power MOSFETs integrated into the chip. These are typically used as switches between the battery (or power source) and the load. This makes the VIPower technology the perfect choice for the control of automotive exterior and interior lighting, DC motors for seat adjustment, door locks and window lifts, resistive heaters and any kind of power load that needs control and sensing as well as power.
The success of VIPower technology can be measured by the fact that on average, ST sells 40 VIPower devices per second! Most of the devices go into car body applications. The latest generations are now setting a new standard for a wide range of high-current applications in automotive domain. VIPower products are enabling the vehicle electrification and digitalization process, by replacing a host of electro-mechanical solutions, and providing lower power, lower chip count and lower pin-count solutions.
VIPower technology will play a key role in the move towards electric vehicles. One of the first steps is the use of 48V (in addition to the traditional 12V) distribution networks. Higher voltages provide higher power and efficiency whilst avoiding the need for the isolation/protection of higher voltage networks. These smart 48V networks are used in Mild and Full Hybrid cars and require intelligent power switches to drive high- and low-sided loads and electric motors, with very low losses and high current sense accuracy, all monitored via the connections to the ECUs microcontroller.
ST’s VIPower teams are constantly developing the technology to adapt to new applications and markets. In-house technology developers, IC designers, package designers, applications engineers and manufacturing ensure that the whole process and life-cycle of our VIPower products is managed to stringent quality standards.
Smart Tools and Selection
VIPower-FINDER is an application available for Android™ and iOS™ that provides a complete view of the ST VIPower product portfolio on portable devices. You can easily find the device that best fits your application using the smart or the parametric search engine. Nominal voltage (12V for automotive cars or 24V for trucks), topology (high-side, low-side or h-bridge), number of channels and type of loads (bulbs, motors, etc.) and many more options can be specified to find the perfect VIPower product.
TwisterSIM is a unique Electro-Thermal simulator that helps shorten the design solution cycle by performing, in a few clicks, complex engineering evaluations with accurate simulations like load-compatibility, wiring harness optimization, fault condition impact analysis, diagnostic behavior analysis and dynamic thermal performance.
ST’s TwisterSIM thermal/electrical simulator, can be downloaded free of charge and supports a large selection of low/high-side driver/switches and h-bridges. It provides an easy way of testing and fine tuning the thermal, electrical and PCB requirements to your design.
To find out more about VIPower technology watch the video