Power Semiconductors: The BJT, MOSFET, and IGBT (1)

I. INTRODUCTION

Although power semiconductors were first developed in the late 1940s, they have matured significantly in sixty years. In today’s society, power semiconductors can be found everywhere.

They are essentially the solid-state version of the mechanical relay or the vacuum tube. Some of most common applications include motor drives, uninterruptible power supplies, audio amplifiers, and fluorescent lighting. For the best device suited for the job, it has become a competition between the bipolar junction transistor (BJT), the metal oxide field-effect transistor (MOSFET), and the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT). Each has inherent advantages over the others, but the IGBT has seemed to dominate the industry in recent years.

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