The story behind SiC module packaging used in Tesla model 3 – Interview of APC and Boschman

SiC power device market is clearly entering into the rapid growth phase, in particular, driving by automotive applications, which is growth with a CAGR2017-2023 of 73%, according to the lastest SiC report, Power SiC 2018: Materials, Devices and Applications. Indeed, EV/HEV applications are not only driven the market volume but also leading the technology progress; such as power module packaging technology analysed in the report Power Module Packaging 2018: Material Market and Technology Trends. As the pioneer on the EV market, Tesla’s move attracts vast attention. Its adoption of SiC MOSFETs in the Model 3 is one of the most noticeable news for power semiconductor as well as SiC community in year 2018. In this interview, we invite you to discover the story behind the SiC MOSFET module design used by Tesla, the technology and the difficulties associated.
Yole Développement’s analyst, Hong Lin, Senior Technology & Market Analyst specialised in Compound Semiconductors, recently had the opportunity to interview Marco Koelink, Business Development Manager at APC and Boschman Technologies.[…]

Hong Lin: We have learned that APC developed the SiC power module for STMicroelectronics applied in the Tesla Model 3. Could you please share with our readers the development story?
Marco Koeling: APC developed the package for the STM power MOSFET in the power module for the Tesla Model 3. Back in 2014, Boschman Technologies was the first supplier to introduce an industrial sinter press to the market. Tog ether with leading material suppliers (e.g. Alpha, Heraeus, and Kyocera), APC pioneered the pressurized sinter process that is applied in automotive power electronics. This made us the first choice to co-develop a package for the SiC MOSFET. Initial discussions began in 2015 and most of the prototype development was done in 2016. Fine-tuning for pre-production and release took a while, since a complete sinter production infrastructure at STMicroelectronics was non-existent and many processes were still very new![…]

HL: What exactly was APC’s involvement/role in module design?
MK: APC was instrumental in designing the transfer-molding and sinter process, as well as tooling development/production. APC also designed the complete back-end assembly flow and executed the entire assembly (sintering, soldering, wire-bonding, molding, trim & form). Moreover, APC built the first prototypes in-house and optimized all assembly processes for yield and transfer to production. APC’s subsidiary, Boschman Technologies, created all production tooling and installed the first fully-operational sinter machines at STMicroelectronics.[…]

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