Digital isolators provide 10kV surge protection

6th November 2015
Barney Scott

Silicon Labs has introduced a family of multi-channel digital isolators featuring a high-voltage isolation barrier designed to withstand 10kV surge hits. Based on Silicon Labs’ proprietary capacitive isolation technology, the Si86xxxT digital isolator family provides robust protection against secondary lightning strikes and increases system reliability in a wide range of demanding industrial applications.

Silicon Labs’ Si86xxxT digital isolator family delivers the industry’s fastest, most accurate timing specifications, highest noise immunity and reliability, lowest electromagnetic noise emissions and longest lifetimes under high-voltage conditions. The Si86xxxT digital isolators are suitable for applications that must withstand a 10kV hit such as microinverters, base station power supplies, process manufacturing equipment, motor controls and drives, industrial UPS, metering equipment and battery management systems for EVs.

Developers of industrial applications expect reinforced isolation products to provide fail-safe protection from secondary lightning strikes, especially in applications where equipment is installed outdoors and where exposed cables or wires are vulnerable to lightning. In addition to requiring surge ratings of up to 10kV, industrial equipment developers also demand isolation products with fast timing, high noise immunity, long lifetimes at high voltages, and a wide VDD and temperature range. These specifications help developers enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of their system designs. The Si86xxxT family provides a best-in-class 10kV isolation solution by satisfying all of these design requirements.

The Si86xxxT family includes a wide range of dual- to quad-channel devices in wide-body packages to accommodate diverse application needs with higher isolation ratings. Pin-compatible with existing digital isolators from Silicon Labs and other isolation suppliers, the Si86xxxT family offers substantial data rate, propagation delay, power, size, reliability and external BOM advantages over legacy isolation technologies.

The operating parameters of Si86xxxT digital isolators remain stable across wide temperature ranges and throughout the device service life for ease of design and highly uniform performance. The 10kV surge capability qualifies Si86xxxT isolators as “Reinforced VDE” components, a standard of high importance for many industrial, telecomms and automotive applications. Long lifetimes are particularly important to meet typical product lifetime for industrial uses.

All Si86xxxT digital isolators have Schmitt trigger inputs for high noise immunity, and these highly integrated devices only require VDD bypass capacitors, reducing BOM cost and complexity. The Si86xxxT devices support data rates up to 150Mb/s with propagation delays of 10ns. Enable inputs provide a single point of control for enabling and disabling the output drive.

“For many industrial and green energy applications, 10kV isolation is a must-have requirement to protect sensitive equipment from secondary lightning strikes and power surges,” said Ross Sabolcik, Vice President, Access and Isolation Products, Silicon Labs. “We have expanded our digital isolation portfolio to meet this critical customer need. In addition to providing robust 10kV surge protection, our Si86xxxT digital isolators lead the industry in timing specifications, noise immunity, reliability and high-voltage lifetime.”

Samples and production quantities of the Si86xxxT digital isolators are available now in a variety of compact wide-body packages. Pricing in 10,000-unit quantities begins at $1.52 for a two-channel Si862xxT device; $2.17 for a three-channel Si863xxT device; and $2.93 for a four-channel Si864xxT device. The Si86xxTISO-KIT evaluation kit, priced at $29.00 (MSRP), is available now to help developers evaluate and implement 10kV isolation barriers in their applications.

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