Power Electronics / Power Management


Fully configurable gate driver for SiC MOSFETs

29 September 2021 Power Electronics / Power Management

As demand for electric buses and other electrified heavy transport vehicles increases to meet lower emission targets, silicon carbide (SiC)-based power management solutions are providing greater efficiencies in these transportation systems. To complement its broad portfolio of silicon carbide MOSFET discrete and module products, Microchip Technology announced a new 1200 V production-ready digital gate driver, providing system developers with multiple levels of control and protection for safe, reliable operation and qualified to stringent transportation requirements.

For designers of silicon carbide-based power conversion equipment, the AgileSwitch 2ASC-12A2HP 1200 V dual-channel digital gate driver with its ‘Augmented Switching’ technology is production qualified and fully configurable. To ensure reliable, safe operation, it provides multiple levels of control and a higher level of protection for silicon carbide MOSFET-based power systems.

When compared to conventional gate drivers, key performance attributes of the AgileSwitch gate driver products include the ability to dampen drain-source voltage (Vds) overshoots by up to 80% and slash switching losses by as much as 50%. The 2ASC-12A2HP can source/sink up to 10 A of peak current and includes an isolated DC/DC converter with a low-capacitance isolation barrier for pulse width modulation signals and fault feedback.

The new gate driver is compatible with the company’s latest release of the Intelligent Configuration Tool (ICT). This interface allows users to configure gate driver parameters including the gate switching profiles, system-critical monitors and controller interface settings. The result is a gate driver that is tailored to users’ applications without having to change hardware, helping to speed development time from evaluation through production and enabling designers to change control parameters during the design process. Microchip claims that ICT, which is a free-of-charge download, can save designers approximately three to six months of development time on new designs.

In addition to commercial vehicles, other applications include charging infrastructure, energy storage systems, solar inverters and aircraft flight actuators.


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