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Maximizing reliability and device utilization via sensing and control of junction temperature in power converters

Fig. 1. Parallel Device/Converter Reliability via Intrinsic Junction Temperature
Sensing and Relative Thermal Control
CPES's control and sensor integration activities have developed several control and sensing techniques to improve reliability by actively limiting thermal-mechanical stress.

The active control techniques have focused on two major issues. One is focused on limiting power cycle induced "Tj thermal stresses. The second is focused on sharing relative thermal stresses uniformly between load-sharing power devices and converters.

The integrated sensing techniques have focused on using intrinsic bus ringing signals to estimate junction temperature. The information is also intrinsically communicated on the power bus. The combined effect is to enable relative temperature control without additional sensors and communication equipment. Patent applications for this technology were made in October of 2005.

The basic CPES research for all of these technologies has been actively tracked via visits by industry, but the development projects needed to get this technology into products are largely occurring independently in the individual firms.
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