X-FAB Adds Automotive-Qualified 6kVrms Galvanic Isolation Process

January 30, 2019 by Scott McMahan

X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE announced the full volume production release of its new high-temperature galvanic isolation semiconductor process. This proprietary technology is fully automotive qualified and the company says it offers enhanced reliability compared to options from the competition.

Galvanic isolation electrically separates circuits to enhance noise immunity, remove ground loops, and increase common mode voltage. It can also shield human interfaces from contact with high voltages.

One example where this plays a significant role is the control of SiC or IGBT power modules in industrial and automotive environments. Further applications include battery management systems, data communication in field bus systems, or the usage in medical equipment.

Advantages of the new X-FAB galvanic isolation process include:

  • Operational temperatures of up to 175°C
  • Successfully tested up to 6,000 Vrms @ 50Hz and 10,000 Vdc
  • An uninterrupted barrier layer with 0 ppm residual contamination
  • Demonstrated conformance with latest IEC 60747-17 semiconductor coupler draft standard
  • Support for working voltages up to 1.7 kV

X-FAB offers two types of packaged galvanic isolation devices for customer evaluation. The capacitive coupler test chip, G3-C1, features an isolation layer thickness of 11µm and was tested to withstand up to 6,000Vrms (the maximum limit of the test setup). An inductive coupler test chip, G3-T06, is also available for customer evaluation and has an isolation layer thickness of 14µm.

X-FAB produces its new galvanic isolation technology at the company's Dresden facility, which is certified for automotive manufacturing in accordance with the IATF-16949:2016 International Automotive Quality Management System (QMS) standard.

Design kits for all major EDA platforms can be downloaded from X-FAB's customer web portal. Samples can be furnished on request. Full process qualification reports are also available.