In this technical paper, design, analysis and comparison of insulated metal substrates for high power wide-bandgap semiconductor-based power modules is discussed. The paper starts with technical description and discussion of state-of-the-art direct bonded copper substrates with different ceramic insulators such as AlN, Al2O3 and Si3N4. This is followed by introduction of insulated metal substrates, material properties and options on each layer, and design approach for high power applications. The properties of dielectric thickness, and impact on power handling capability of the substrate are discussed. Insulated metal substrate design approach for SiC MOSFET based power modules is presented. Finite element analysis-based characterization and comparison of different designs including steady-state and transient thermal response is presented. The results show that IMS is a promising alternative to DBC in high power modules with improved transient thermal performance. IMS provides flexible building structure with multi-layer stacking options and variable thicknesses at different layers.