New Industry Products

Isolated Silicon-Carbide Gate Drivers Improve Efficiency and System Uptime

December 17, 2019 by Paul Shepard

With the MAX22701E isolated gate driver from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. designers of high-voltage/high-power systems can improve power supply efficiency by up to 4 percentage points over competitive solutions, reducing power loss and the resulting carbon footprint by 30 percent. The driver IC is intended for use in silicon-carbide-based switch-mode power supplies within industrial communication systems for solar power inverters, motor drives, electric cars, energy storage systems, uninterrupted power supplies, data farms and high-power/high-efficiency power supplies.

Many switch-mode power supply applications are adopting wide-bandgap silicon carbide (SiC) transistors to improve power efficiency and transistor reliability. However, the high switching frequency incurs transients that generate noise, which either disrupts operations or requires extensive mitigation.

The MAX22701E offers the industry's highest common-mode transient immunity (CMTI) of 300kV/µs typical to deliver industry-leading reliability. CMTI is up to 3x higher than the closest competitor, which results in increased system uptime.

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Best-in-class driver propagation specs (35ns typical which is 2x lower propagation delay than the closest competitor) and propagation delay matching between the high-side and low-side gate drivers (5ns maximum which is 5x lower than the closest competitor) helps to reduce the transistor's dead time. This, in turn, improves power efficiency up to 4 percentage points. In the 90 percent efficiency range, every 1 percentage point in efficiency results in about a 10 percent improvement in power loss.

For example, improving efficiency from 90 to 94 percent results in an approximately 30 to 40 percent reduction in wasted power (6 versus 10 points of wasted power.) The MAX22701E is available in an 8-pin narrow body SOIC package (3.90mm x 4.90mm) with an extended temperature range of -40°C to +125°C.

Key Features

  • Matching Propagation Delay
    • 20ns Minimum Pulse Width
    • 35ns Propagation Delay at Room Temperature
    • 2ns Part-to-Part Propagation Delay Matching at Room Temperature
    • 5ns Part-to-Part Propagation Delay Matching over -40°C to +125°C Temperature Range
  • High CMTI (300kV/μs, typ)
  • Robust Galvanic Isolation
    • Withstands 3kVRMS for 60s (VISO)
    • Continuously Withstands 848VRMS (VIOWM)
    • Withstands ±5kV Surge Between GNDA and VSSB with 1.2/50μs Waveform
  • Precision UVLO
  • Options to Support a Broad Range of Applications
    • 3 Output Options: GNDB, Miller Clamp, or Adjustable UVLO
    • 2 Input Configurations: Single-Ended with Enable (E versions) or Differential (D versions)

Key Advantages

  • Reduced Energy Loss: 5x lower part-to-part propagation delay matching (5ns maximum) significantly reduces dead time and energy losses.
  • Increased Uptime: Up to 3x higher CMTI (300kV/µs typical) minimizes large common-mode transients between the input and output to increase uptime in noisy environments.

"As our customers adopt SiC technology to deliver smaller and more efficient power supply systems, we enable maximum system efficiency with increased system uptime," said Timothy Leung, director, Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at Maxim Integrated.

Availability and Pricing

The MAX22701E is available at Maxim's website for $1.69 (1000-up, FOB USA); also available from authorized distributors

The MAX22701EVKIT# evaluation kit is available for $44