New Industry Products

Gate-Driver System Targets 1.7kV to 4.5kV IGBT and SiC Dual Power Modules

June 27, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Power Integrations announced the SCALE-iFlex™ gate-driver system for IGBT, hybrid, and silicon-carbide (SiC) MOSFET power modules with blocking voltages from 1.7kV to 4.5kV. A central isolated master control (IMC) and one to four module-adapted gate drivers (MAGs) make up the system.

The IMC delivers a 4.5kV blocking voltage. A range of MAGs is available for a variety of power modules, semiconductor switch technologies, and suppliers across 1700V, 3300V, and 4500V voltage classes. The MAGs are optimized for power modules from different suppliers and with various device technologies.

Applications for the gate drivers include traction for trams, buses, and subway trains, and they can be used for wind power systems, solar, and industrial purposes.

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The SCALE-iFlex gate-driver system enables easy paralleling of the latest dual power modules, providing what the company describes as a reliable and highly flexible system scalability with the minimum development effort.

The MAG is positioned adjacent to the modules' control terminals to provide excellent switching performance, and the IMC performs all needed communication between the MAGs and the user's MCU handling functions including PWM commands, under-voltage and short-circuit failure reporting, as well as NTC and dc-Link voltage measurement.

The IMC comes with either an electrical or a fiber-optic interface with reinforced isolation, in accordance with EN 50124-1 and IEC 61800-5-1 for 1700V and 3300V power modules. The fiber-optic IMC also meets basic isolation requirements for 4500V semiconductors.

Devices feature double-sided conformal coating. Units undergo full in-circuit tests (ICT) and are 100% hipot and partial-discharge tested to ensure excellent reliability.

A full set of protections such as under-voltage lock-out, short-circuit protection with advanced soft shut down (ASSD) and NTC temperature sensing with reinforced isolation (up to 3300V) are included.

"The SCALE-iFlex gate-driver system is optimized for the latest 1700V to 3300V rated power modules from all of the leading module manufacturers. The system provides the ultimate in reliability for demanding applications such as wind turbine inverters, industrial drives, and the main propulsion and auxiliary inverters for railway applications," Commented Thorsten Schmidt, technical product manager at Power Integrations.

Features and Benefits

  • Ready-to-use gate driver solution optimized for power modules from 1200V to 3300V blocking voltage
  • Supports IGBT, Hybrid (Si-IGBT/SiC-Diode) and Full-SiC MOSFET power modules
  • Dual-channel gate driver optimized for paralleling up to 4 power modules
  • Electrical primary-side interface with reinforced isolation
  • Wide input supply voltage range +15V to + 48V
  • -40°C to + 85°C operating ambient temperature

Protection and Safety Features

  • Under-voltage lock-out (UVLO) protection for primary-side (low-voltage side) and secondary-side (high-voltage side)
  • Short-circuit protection with Advanced Soft Shut Down (ASSD)
  • NTC temperature sensing with reinforced isolation of digital output signal (PWM-coded)
  • DC-link voltage measurement with reinforced isolation of digital output signal (PWM-coded)
  • Double-sided conformal coating

Full Safety and Regulatory Compliance

  • 100% production partial-discharge testing
  • 100% production hipot isolation testing
  • Reinforced isolation in accordance with EN 50124-1 and IEC 61800-5-1

The SCALE-iFlex IMC and MAG gate driver system will be available in August 2019. A typical use-case set comprised of one IMC, four MAGs and associated cables will be $693 in 100 piece quantities.