Power Electronics / Power Management

Rugged high voltage gate driver ICs feature sophisticated functions

27 July 2005 Power Electronics / Power Management

International Rectifier has introduced a series of high voltage IGBT control ICs with a sophisticated set of protection functions. In addition to these advanced functions, the company says that these devices feature high noise immunity with up to 30% fewer components in half the footprint compared to discrete opto-coupler or transformer-based solutions.

The series consists of 1200 V and 600 V gate driver ICs and current sense interface ICs for a variety of applications including inverter motor drives, general-purpose inverter circuits, switch-mode power supplies (SMPS) and UPS.

Power stages using IGBTs or MOSFETs must be protected from failures such as short circuits, over-current conditions and ground faults. In addition to protection circuits, the fault conditions must be detected, or sensed, in order to enable the protection functions. IR has designed its new line of driver ICs and sensor ICs to fill this requirement, while reducing component count and simplifying circuits.

There are five 1200 V gate drivers for industrial applications. For appliance motor drives and a wide range of general-purpose inverter circuits, these 1200 V HVICs are also available in 600 V versions.

Product range

The IR22381 is an analog, three-phase IGBT gate driver. With a (programmable) deadtime of 0,5 μs, the device is 10 times faster than comparable opto-coupler-based drivers. Also, it minimises temperature drift and changes in performance over time. An integrated de-saturation feature provides for all modes of over-current protection, including ground fault, shoot-through and short to supply rails protection. Soft shutdown is initiated in the event of an over-current condition followed by the turn-off of all six outputs. The output drivers have separate turn-on/turn-off pins with a two-stage turn-on output to achieve the desired IGBT dv/dt switching level. Voltage feedback provides accurate measurements.

The IR2277 and IR22771 are high speed, single-phase current sense interface ICs with synchronous sampling for motor drive applications. The current is sensed through an external shunt resistor which converts the analog voltage into a time interval through a precise dual ramp system. A digital PWM output is provided for DSP and ADC interfaces without additional logic. Maximum throughput is 40 kSa/s - suitable for up to 20 kHz asymmetrical PWM modulation, while a noise immune bi-directional level-shifting circuit is used to avoid false common-mode dV/dt noise up to 50 V/ns. The IR2277 provides both analog and PWM output, while the IR22771 provides PWM output.

The IR2214 and IR22141 are designed to drive single half-bridge circuits in power switching applications as well as three-phase 380 V a.c. circuits at up to 50 A@ 80°C. Unlike solutions using opto-couplers, these gate drivers deliver stability during their lifetime and include parameter matching, such as propagation delay for high- and low-side channels as well as deadtime insertion. Their low quiescent current on the high-side enables economical bootstrap supply topology. Fault feedback on IGBT de-saturation is included. Desaturation detection for both sides as well as an internal biasing resistor are included in the IR2214, while an active de-saturation diode bias is included in the IR22141. Input and output pins are 3,3 V CMOS-compatible to simplify microprocessor interfacing. Separate power and signal ground pins enable emitter shunt configurations to simplify low-side IGBT current sensing.

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