Phoenix, Arizona, September 13, 1999 - ON Semiconductor, formerly a division of Motorola, today announced that it had reached a milestone during its last quarter of operation with the shipment of its 100 millionth ignition insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT). A plaque was presented to Visteon, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company who received the 100 millionth unit commemorating the event.
Automotive ignition system designers have taken advantage of the improvements that IGBTs provide over bipolar transistors for over five model years. IGBTs are voltage-controlled power transistors that have higher current densities than equivalent high-voltage power MOSFETs. They are faster and offer far superior drive and output characteristics than power bipolar transistors. IGBTs are therefore a more cost-effective solution in almost all high-voltage high-current, moderate frequency applications. Well over a trillion vehicle miles have been accumulated on IGBTs in the ignition application.
According to Paul M. Chiodo, Supervisor, Custom Analog & Power IC Design at Visteon, "Ford Motor has been using Visteon Powertrain Control Modules with ON Semiconductor's Ignition IGBT's for optimum performance and emission control since the 1995 model year." Visteon is the first automotive electronics supplier to use leading-edge IGBTS 100% for ignition control.
Increasingly tighter emissions standards continue to require more performance from vehicle ignition systems. The newest electronic ignition systems pair an IGBT with individual coils on each sparkplug whether it is a four, six or eight cylinder engine. IGBTs are used as a switch that precisely controls the voltage at which the primary side of the ignition coil "breaks," resulting in a more precisely controlled secondary voltage for the spark plug.
According to Charles Mantel, executive vice president of the marketing analyst firm Selantek, Inc., "The industry trend is toward converting to IGBTs from the earlier bipolar technology for ignition."
As semiconductor manufacturers continue to meet both the performance and cost expectations of systems designers, electronic ignitions will eventually reach 100% penetration in new vehicles, replacing traditional ignition distributors with mechanical contacts. The next generation ignition IGBT is a step toward achieving that milestone. ON Semiconductor has been working on a second-generation ignition IGBT designed specifically for the latest coil-on-plug applications that is expected to be announced in the near future.
"ON Semiconductor is proud to be the pioneer and market leader in ignition IGBTs. We have paved the way for global automotive customers like Visteon to achieve system performance and cost goals that were not possible with the previous technology," said Scott Delaney director of marketing for ON Semiconductor. "ON Semiconductor strives to shape the future of electronics by identifying semiconductor products that solve our customers' power and interface problems."
About ON Semiconductor
ON Semiconductor, formerly a division of Motorola, is the world's leading supplier of analog, logic and discrete semiconductor components with shipments of 15 billion units in 1998 totaling $1.5 billion in sales. These power and interface products are an integral part of electronics that provide the security, convenience and entertainment in today's world.
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