Intelligent power driver handles extreme temperatures

February 26, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
X-REL Semiconductor has unveiled what the company claims is the first monolithic isolated intelligent power driver for Silicon Carbide (SiC), Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon power switches that is able to operate at extreme temperatures.

The XTR26010 device targets motor drive, power conversion and high-voltage communication applications in aerospace, industrial, hybrid and electric vehicles, transportation, geothermal and oil and gas.

Being able to properly drive normally-on (JFET, MESFET) as well as normally-off (MOSFET, JFET, BJT, SJT) transistors, the XTR26010 driver offers functional features that allow the increase of the application’s safety whilst increasing the maximum switching frequency.

The XTR26010's features include isolated communication protocol between low-side and high-side drivers in order to prevent any possible cross-conduction in the application; independent monitoring of gate, drain and source terminals to detect any possible failure; on-chip Miller clamp with adjustable timing; possible pulsed drive for rapid turn-on of normally-off transistors; and on-chip soft shut-down switch.

The implementation of Intelligent Power Modules (IPM) requires the minimization of parasitic inductances and capacitances between the driver and the power switch, as well as the minimization of the number of passive components to allow miniaturization as well as increased reliability. In this sense, the XTR26010 is the X-REL response to those requirements. The XTR26010 can be placed alongside the power switches thanks to its high temperature capability, while using a minimum number of passive components ensuring minimized bill-of-material (BoM).

The XTR26010 is able to reliably operate from -60°C to well above +230°C, with expected lifetime of about five years at +230°C. Being operational at high temperatures is mandatory in applications where the environment is at elevated temperature or where a power device makes the temperature increase inside the application casing. Additionally, all X-REL Semiconductor products can be used in applications running at lower temperatures (e.g. from 100°C to 200°C) where extended lifetime is expected or where failing is not an option. For example, the expected lifetime of X-REL Semiconductor parts in a driver application operating at Tj=150°C is over 35 years.

Isolated communication of the XTR26010 intelligent power driver with an application controller is made through the XTR40010 isolated transceiver. In applications