When it comes to the design of a power converter, the thermal characteristics of the used components - and of MOSFETs in specific - do not seem to represent the major focus. Traditionally, the main concern is to solve a given problem and leave the thermal management to the end of the design.
In many cases the neglect of the component’s thermal behavior leads to reduced system reliability. The purpose of this paper will therefore be to explain the main thermal implications and show how they would have an impact on the reliability of your system. The paper will therefore be split in three main sections:
1. THE SELECTION OF THE RIGHT MOSFET BASED UPON THE PROCESS TECHNOLOGY, which will describe the two main process technologies, it’s pro’s and con’s and then move on with a phenomenon that may endanger your system reliability, that is, the thermal run-away.
2. THE SELECTION OF THE RIGHT MOSFET BASED UPON ITS THERMAL RESISTANCE; based upon the conclusions taken under 1., this section will get more detail and focus on the thermal resistance only and how this parameter can question the reliability of your whole system.
3. THERMALLY SELF-PROTECTED MOSFET; the objective of this section will be to demonstrate one way to prevent your system from unwanted damages by using self-protected MOSFETs.