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Suite of New Gate Driver ICs Tackle SiC

Sep 03, 2023Sep 03, 2023

As SiC-based MOSFETs gain traction in the power industry, manufacturers are working around the clock to provide efficient power switches for MOSFETs. This article highlights the latest gate driver ICs that have been recently unveiled in the power semiconductor industry.

Infineon is expanding its EiceDRIVER portfolio, adding the 2EDi family of gate drivers. The EiceDRIVER portfolio leverages coreless transformers for its galvanically-isolated gate driver ICs, and the new 2EDi family follows suit. The ICs are designed to drive Si MOSFETs, SiC MOSFETs, and GaN power switches. The company says that the new family is designed for robust operation in high-performance CoolMOS, CoolSiC, and OptiMOS MOSFET half-bridges.

The latest dual-channel galvanically isolated gate drivers target applications in switched-mode power supplies (SMPS). According to Infineon, the devices boost performance and optimize operations in primary- and secondary-side controlled hard- and soft-switching topologies. With a high propagation delay accuracy and low channel-to-channel mismatch, the products may be useful in fast-switching power systems.

The products feature an undervoltage lockout function (UVLO) with a start-up and fast recovery time of two μs or less. Because of their coreless transformer technology, the products feature a high common-mode transient immunity. In addition, a built-in output clamping circuit eliminates output noise, especially when the gate driver voltage supply is below the UVLO threshold.

Packaged in leaded DSO and leadless LGA packages, the products are reported to save up to 36% space in low-voltage applications. The new products in the 2EDi family are commercially available with part numbers 2EDB8259F, 2EDB7259Y, 2EDB8259Y, and 2EDB9259Y.

Another gate driver recently released in the industry is the SCALE-iFlex LT NTC family of IGBT/SiC modules manufactured by Power Integrations. Like Infineon's gate drivers, the SCALE-iFlex LT NTC family is a dual-channel gate driver suitable for use in SiC MOSFET applications. The product can be used with insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules such as the Mitsubishi LV100 and the Infineon XHP 2 since it supports IGBT voltage classes ranging from 1200 V to 3300 V.

The family of SCALE-iFlex LT NTC gate driver ICs consists of a module-adapted gate (MAG) driver (2SMLT0220D2C0C) and an isolated master control (IMC) (2SILT1200T2A0C-33). According to Power Integrations, the IMC unit supports up to four MAGs in parallel connection. The parallel connection between the MAGs from a single IMC unit helps to save space.

The product features active clamping to ensure that the power semiconductor is turned on partially when the collector-emitter voltage crosses a predefined threshold. This keeps the semiconductor in linear operation.

The device includes a temperature readout for overall system observability. By monitoring the negative temperature coefficient data of the power module, the gate driver can accurately manage heat in converter systems. During operation, each MAG senses the NTC temperature of the attached power module. The detected signal is forwarded to the IMC, and the measurement is taken via an electrical interface.

The product also features conformal coating, which protects the board's components. The conformal coating process helps to achieve high reliability and makes the product suitable for use in harsh conditions and contaminated environments.

To wrap us this power roundup, we take a look at the new Schottky barrier diode (SBD)-embedded SiC MOSFET module from Mitsubishi Electric.

The SiC-based device is designed for heavy applications such as power conversion in railway systems. Because SiC devices are power and energy-efficient, Mitsubishi says that the product has a lower carbon footprint than its silicon counterparts. The SBD-embedded SiC-MOSFET is said to reduce switching loss by 91%. This ensures high efficiency and reliability in inverter systems for large industrial equipment such as railways and electric power systems.

The device features 3.3 kV and 6.0 kVrm of rated voltage and isolation voltage, respectively. It is designed to have an optimized terminal layout that supports parallel connection and various inverter configurations. Mitsubishi are now shipping samples of the SBD-embedded SiC MOSFET modules.