IGBT Transistor Parts and Their Applications

An insulated gate bipolar transistor, or IGBT, enables efficient electronic switching at high frequencies. Equipped with three terminals like other semiconductor switches, IGBTs can deliver benefits typical of both MOSFET-based and bipolar-transistor switching devices in ways that make them well suited to many modern applications.

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The Early History of the IGBT

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The first commercial IGBT parts were developed and marketed starting in the 1980s, although the concept had been described in Japan more than a decade before. In 1978, Canadian electrical engineering researcher James Plummer noted that a MOS-gate equipped thyristor could be used as an efficient switch if its transistor characteristics were enabled throughout its operating range. This realization allowed a variety of existing component designs to be easily altered so as to be redirected to an increasingly important purpose.

A Wide Variety of Suitable Applications

While first-generation IGBT products were sometimes unreliable, rapid progress quickly made the part a mainstay of many projects and products. Today's IGBT parts, in fact, have displaced traditional alternatives in many different types of applications. Some of the kinds of products and systems where IGBT components are now most often found include:

  • Electric vehicle motors. With electric cars and even trucks becoming increasingly common, demand for switching parts that can handle high currents has been rising steadily. IGBT modules are found in many all-electric and hybrid passenger vehicles.
  • Induction heating systems. Electrically induced heating is an especially efficient way to transform one type of energy into another. IGBT are well suited to induction heating systems of many kinds, from compact counter-top units designed for cooking at home to industrial devices of far larger scale.
  • Solar power inverters. The direct current generated by photovoltaic solar panels must often be converted into alternating current so as to power a home or feed back into the local grid. A number of IGBT parts will almost always be found playing critical roles within the inverters used for this purpose.

As a component that combines impressive performance with suitability to many especially common modern applications, the IGBT is a mainstay of many projects. A high quality IGBT will often be the best choice where efficient, high frequency electronic switching is required.

Call us for help sourcing your lGBT electronic component parts. We'll help you locate your parts. Call (561) 226-8500 or (800) 226- 6960.

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