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Webinar: Tesla and NASA use SiC, so what is it exactly and why should I care?

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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By KV Thanjavur Bhaaskar, IIoT & AI Solutions Architect at Xilinx

 

Silicon Carbide (SiC) has gone from exotic to the mainstream with Tesla and other EVs’ adoption of the technology over the past five years. It’s no wonder because SiC solves several engineering challenges.

One of the main challenges in power electronics research is the rapid development of new topologies, e.g., modular multilevel converter (MMC). Even if new topologies promise better performance, with an increased number of states and possible switching combinations, they also require an increased computational complexity to drive them.

To address this challenge of new topologies, let’s start with Silicon Carbide. SiC is a power transistor that is significantly better than silicon for high-power/high-voltage semiconductor devices. SiC is currently used in Motor Drivers, Solar Inverters, DC-AC Inverters, and Power Factor Correction applications. Keeping the increased computational complexity aside, 3-Level Inverters using SiC (Multilevel converters) provide:

  • Smaller output voltage steps to reduce cable issues between the inverter and the motor
  • Reduced surge voltages to create less electromagnetic interference (EMI)
  • Output waveform to deliver less harmonic distortion to the load
  • Output filters for reconstructing the load currents, which are smaller and weigh less than 2-Levels inverters

NASA also credits Silicon Carbide for numerous additional benefits.

Another challenge is the development of new control strategies for commonly used topologies. Traditional control concepts are challenged by more complex control approaches. So to address the new control strategies trend, Model Predictive Control (MPC) is leveraged. This class of algorithms uses explicit process models to predict the system’s future response. MPC can lead to an increase in efficiency, more dynamic step response, or the control of additional criteria. These benefits come at the cost of a higher computational burden, since users can complete complex calculations within time intervals of a few microseconds.

What happens when the efficiency of SiC is paired with MPC to operate the converter close to its physical limits? What about the increased computation complexities? In the upcoming webinar, Xilinx showcases how a Zynq®-7000 SoC or Zynq UltraScale+™ MPSoC effortlessly enables the implementation of such complex algorithms to provide efficient and dynamic response!

 

Webinar Details:

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Date: September 17, 2019 at 7:00 am PDT / 10:00 am EDT / 4:00 pm CEST

Live webinar lead by Dr. Giulio Corradi, Principle Architect Industrial, Vision, Healthcare & Sciences

Special Guests: Wendel Sebastian & Eyke Liegmann (Research Assistants at Technical University Munich), Mattia Rossi (Ph.D. Candidate at Politecnico di Milano)

Surprise Guest: Things can go out of this world quickly, so attend the webinar to find out!

Register now: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2080985/77AACFFA3E2C23C9664993D5FF2E8965?partnerref=ism

Unable to make the live event? Webinar will be available on-demand shortly after completion of the live event.