New Industry Products

Gate Driver Core Optimized for SiC MOSFET Modules

May 31, 2018 by Paul Shepard

AgileSwitch, LLC has introduced the ASC1 (AgileSwitch Software Configurable Core 1) SiC MOSFET gate driver core. A family of tested reference adapter boards will provide compatibility with most SiC MOSFET modules.

Applications including heavy-duty traction vehicles, auxiliary power units in trains, buses and trolleys, induction heating systems and other high-power industrial systems are rapidly moving from IGBTs to SiC power devices. The ASC1 driver core is designed specifically to facilitate this conversion.

The ASC1 driver core features configurable gate voltage and incorporates AgileSwitch's patented, software configurable Augmented Turn-Off (ATOff™) technology. ATOff addresses two significant impediments to the successful implementation of Silicon Carbide modules in high-power applications.

By reducing turn-off spikes and ringing, both under normal operation as well as short-circuit (DSAT) conditions, SiC MOSFET modules can be safely operated in the higher frequencies that enable dramatic increases in power conversion density.

This allows SiC MOSFET modules to be operated closer to their rated specifications, resulting in size, cost and performance improvements.

In Vgs (V Gate to Source) switching transitions a plateau corresponding to the Miller Capacitance is observed. Rapid transition to and from this "Miller Plateau" results in lower switching losses, ringing, overshoot voltage. Augmented Switching™ is a method that includes one or more transitions and plateau rest periods.

(click on image to enlarge)

The ASC1 gate driver core is designed for harsh, high-noise environments, with optional conformal coating. It is equipped with powerful diagnostic and troubleshooting tools and it continuously monitors critical parameters, such as temperature and dc link voltage.

"Designers want the benefits of switching at higher speeds using smaller, lighter, less expensive system components.  But, today, this can only be achieved by reducing the switching efficiency, which effectively negates much of the benefits," said Rob Weber, AgileSwitch CEO.

"The ASC1 Driver Core enables them to have both higher switching frequencies and high efficiency by dramatically reducing the typical secondary effects of high switching frequency: voltage overshoots, ringing and false short circuit reporting," Weber added.

Key switch driver features:

  • 7 Unique Fault conditions
  • Temperature Monitoring, PWM
  • Isolated High Voltage Monitoring, PWM
  • 2 X 10W output power
  • RoHS and UL compliant design
  • Interface for 5V or 15V logic levels
  • Gate drive voltage +20V / -5V
  • Peak gate current +/-20A


Software programmable features include:

  • Augmented Turn-Off™ (ATOff)
  • Power supply under voltage lockout (UVLO)
  • Power supply over voltage lockout (OVLO)
  • Desaturation detection settings
  • Dead time
  • Fault lockout settings
  • Automatic Reset settings

The ASC1 driver core costs $75 (OEM quantities) and is available 2 weeks ARO. A whitepaper describing the performance improvements attained using ATOff is available for download.