Power

Digital gate driver cuts switching losses by up to 50%

24th September 2021
Mick Elliott

Microchip Technology has stepped up with a new 1200V production-ready digital gate driver to enable electric buses and other e-transportation power systems meet and exceed stringent environmental conditions while maximising efficiency.

As demand increases to meet lower emission targets, silicon carbide-based power management solutions are providing greater efficiencies in these transportation systems.

The AgileSwitch2ASC-12A2HP 1200V dual-channel digital gate driver with its Augmented Switchingtechnology provides system developers with multiple levels of control and protection for safe, reliable operation and qualified to stringent transportation requirements. The device complement Microchip’s broad portfolio of silicon carbide MOSFET discrete and module products.

is production qualified and fully configurable.

To ensure reliable, safe operation, the gate driver 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 device can source/sink up to 10A of peak current and includes an isolated DC/DC converter with low capacitance isolation barrier for pulse width modulation signals and fault feedback.

It 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 their 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.

The ICT, which is a free-of-charge download, can save designers approximately three to six months of development time on new designs.

“The societal trend toward electrification of all vehicles including buses, trains, trams and agriculture transportation hinges on innovative power electronic solutions to get more productivity from less energy,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete product business unit. “When combined with our silicon carbide power devices, this gate driver technology enables engineers to achieve new levels of power density in transportation systems and industrial applications.”

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

Microchip’s 2ASC-12A2HP gate driver is compatible with the company’s broad portfolio of silicon carbide power devices and modules and is interoperable with other manufacturers’ silicon carbide products. The company’s combination of silicon carbide power modules and digital gate drivers enables designers to influence dynamic issues including voltage overshoot, switching losses and electromagnetic interference. Microchip provides silicon carbide MOSFET avalanche and short-circuit ruggedness alongside total system solutions designed to streamline development from benchtop to production.

The AgileSwitch 2ASC-12A2HP digital gate driver is supported by the ICT including starter settings for many commercially-available silicon carbide switches.

The gate driver also is supported by a family of module adapter boards to help designers connect to several different footprints, as well as the company’s Augmented Switching Accelerated Development Kits (ASDAK) that include gate drivers, module adapter boards, a programming kit and the ICT software for silicon carbide MOSFET modules.

The AgileSwitch 2ASC-12A2HP digital gate driver is available now for volume production.

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