Sanyo Semiconductor Co Ltd. announced that it has developed the "TIG058E8," an IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) for xenon flash. The size of the device is approximately 60% smaller than the company’s existing products.
The device, which is intended mainly for use in mobile phone cameras, functions as a switch for instantaneously releasing the electric power accumulated in the capacitor for flashing the xenon tube. It measures 2.8 x 2.9 x 0.9mm and weighs 0.02g. Switching of 150A current is possible at 400V, which is equivalent to the voltage used by the existing products.
According to Sanyo, mobile phones have normally come with an LED flash, and there are only a few models that are equipped with a xenon flash. This is because xenon flash modules are larger than LED flash modules and difficult to be incorporated in mobile phones. However, Sanyo expects xenon flashes, which are said to be four times brighter than LED flashes, to be employed for a greater number of products as the modules become smaller.
"It enables to improve camera functions, one of the most important mobile phone functions for users, for a relatively low cost," according to Yasuo Kondo, General Manager at the Power Management Headquarters, Sanyo Semiconductor Co Ltd.
The xenon tube and the capacitor for accumulating electricity take up roughly 90% of the area in the xenon flash module, while the IGBT only occupies about 2% of the area, according to the company.
The smaller size of the module was achieved by two modifications. One is adoption of wireless bonding technology, in which the copper frame is directly attached to the chip, in packaging the IGBT chip. This reduced the height by 10% compared with the existing products.
The other is improvement of wafer processing technology. Variations of channels and nodes in operating cells were reduced, and the length of the guard ring structures around the operating cells were reduced by half.
The company plans to produce three million units per month starting in May 2009.