New Industry Products

80V Half-Bridge 33MHz GaN FET Driver

July 11, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. claims the world's fastest gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistor (FET) driver, the UltraCMOS® PE29100. Built on Peregrine's UltraCMOS technology, this new GaN driver empowers design engineers to extract the full performance and speed advantages from GaN transistors. Designed to drive the gates of a high-side and a low-side GaN FET in a switching configuration, the PE29100 claiims the industry's fastest switching speeds, shortest propagation delays and lowest rise and fall times to ac-dc converters, dc-dc converters, class D audio amplifiers and wireless charging applications.

The UltraCMOS PE29100 is a half-bridge GaN FET driver with internal dead-time control. The high-speed driver operates up to 33MHz and handles voltages up to 80V. It delivers a short propagation delay of 8ns. It has a rise time of 2.5ns and fall time of 1.8ns when driving a 1000 pF load and 1ns rise and fall times with 100pF load. The PE29100 has a one-pin, single-phase input mode and has an output source current of 2A and an output sink current of 4A.

GaN-based FETs are disrupting the power conversion market and are displacing silicon-based MOSFETs. Compared to MOSFETs, GaN FETs operate much faster and have higher switching speeds in the smallest possible volume. The promise of GaN is that it can dramatically reduce the size and weight of any power supply.

To reach their performance potential, these high-performance GaN transistors need an optimized gate driver. This FET driver must charge and discharge gate capacitance as fast as possible, and it must have very low propagation delay to allow fast signals. It also must avoid “shoot through” by not turning on high-side and low-side FETs at the same time. The PE29100 is designed specifically for this purpose.

“Our enhancement-mode GaN (eGaN®) transistors deliver a whole new spectrum of performance compared to MOSFETs,” says Alex Lidow, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder at Efficient Power Conversion. “GaN FET drivers, like Peregrine’s UltraCMOS PE29100, enable design engineers to unlock the true potential of eGaN FET technology. The availability of the PE29100 further enhances our ability to deliver the best possible solution into the power conversion market where size, efficiency and simple design are critical.”

Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology platform is the driving force behind the PE29100’s industry- leading speed. The technology enables integrated circuits to operate at much faster speeds than conventional CMOS technologies. It empowers Peregrine to manufacture a GaN FET driver with the industry’s shortest propagation delays, the lowest rise and fall times and the fastest switching speeds. This speed advantage results in significantly smaller power converters, which benefits the design engineer with increased power density.

“Design engineers are increasingly using GaN transistors for applications where higher switching frequency and high power is required,” says Mark Moffat, director of Peregrine’s power management product line. “However, the currently available gate drivers and controllers do not support the full potential of GaN. With the enabling power of UltraCMOS technology, the PE29100 achieves the industry’s fastest switching speeds at frequencies higher than competing products. By enabling GaN to reach its performance potential, UltraCMOS technology is enabling power innovation.”

Manufactured on a truly insulating substrate, UltraCMOS technology has no bulk or well junctions, and therefore has low parasitics. UltraCMOS technology also has low on-resistance for improved efficiency and low off-capacitance at higher operating frequency.

Volume-production parts, samples and evaluation kits are available now. Offered as a 2 x 1.6 mm flip-chip die, the PE29100 is $1.80 each for 1k-quantity orders.