Circuit Protection Solution Makes EV Development Safer

Enabled by SiC technology, circuit protection board interrupts peak short-circuit currents faster than mechanical approaches.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

May 11, 2023

2 Min Read
Microchip’s E-Fuse Demonstrator Board quickly interrupts fault current to prevent damage in EVs and hybrid EVs.Microchip

Engineers designing high-voltage electrical subsystems in Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Electric Vehicles require a mechanism to protect the high-voltage distribution and loads in the event of an overload condition. To provide a faster and more reliable high-voltage circuit protection solution, Microchip Technology has announced the E-Fuse Demonstrator Board, available in six variants for 400 to 800-V battery systems and with a current rating up to 30 amps.

Due to its high-voltage solid-state design, the E-Fuse demonstrator can detect and interrupt fault currents in microseconds, 100 to 500 times faster than traditional mechanical approaches. The fast response time substantially reduces peak short-circuit currents from tens of kilo-amps to hundreds of amps, thus preventing a fault event from resulting in a hard failure.

According to Clayton Pillion, vice president of Microchip’s silicon carbide business unit, the solid-state design of the E-fuse also alleviates long-term reliability concerns about electromechanical devices for circuit protection, as there is no degradation from mechanical shock, arcing or contact bounce.

With the E-Fuse demonstrator’s resettable feature, designers can easily package an E-Fuse in the vehicle without the burden of design-for-serviceability constraints. This reduces design complexities and enables flexible vehicle packaging to improve BEV/HEV power system distribution.

OEMs can accelerate development of SiC-based auxiliary applications with the E-Fuse demonstrator because of the built-in Local Interconnect Network (LIN) communication interface. The LIN interface enables the configuration of the over-current trip characteristics without the need to modify hardware components, and it also reports diagnostic status.

The E-Fuse demonstrator leverages the performance of Microchip’s SiC MOSFET technology and PIC® microcontrollers’ Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) with a LIN-based interface. The companion components are automotive-qualified and yield a lower part count and higher reliability over a discrete design.

Microchip supports the E-Fuse Demonstrator Board with MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to enable customers to quickly develop or debug software. The LIN Serial Analyzer development tool allows customers to easily send and receive serial messages from a PC to the E-Fuse Demonstrator Board. 


Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].


About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

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