Gate driver allows 4kV isolation for 3.3V microcontrollers

February 24, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
IXYS has announced a 10A/4000V, dual channel, isolated gate-driver.

Built using the IX6610/11 gate-driver chipset, the IXIDM1401_1505_O allows a 3.3 V microcontroller (MCU) through a 4 kV isolation barrier to control IGBTs and MOSFETs in the half-bridge configuration. The PWM signals can be as short as 500 ns, and there is no lower limit on the switching frequency. It is capable of driving high-power IGBT and MOSFET modules rated up to 1700V.

The IXIDM1401_1505_O gate-driver core can support switching frequencies up to 250 kHz. The two output channels are electrically isolated from each other and from the primary side. An internal power supply can provide up to 2W per channel of isolated power to drive both upper and lower IGBTs (or MOSFETs), effectively isolating the MCU from the high power circuitry. Operating from a single polarity 15V power source, it provides +15 V/-5V and 10A peak current to the IGBT gates as well as +3.3V (at 50mA) to the corresponding controlling MCU.

The device provides a complete dual-channel, gate-driver solution and is designed with all the necessary features such as short-circuit protection, under and over-voltage lockout protection, advanced active clamping, and supply voltage monitoring. It is well suited for digital power control, where a typical MCU, such as the IXYS Zilog line, can be used to provide the brains for controlling power modules.

The IXIDM1401_1505_O gate-driver module enables a compact and low profile design and is aimed at power conversion applications such as inverters, isolated DC-DC converters, motor drives, uninterruptable power supplies (UPS), renewable energy, traction and medical.