IGBT Drivers Offer Protection For Motor Drives And Inverters


Silicon Labs announced new isolated gate drivers designed to protect sensitive insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) switches in power inverter and motor drive applications.

According to the firm, the Si828x gate drivers outperform conventional optocoupler-based isolators and operate over a full industrial temperature range, support product lifetimes of up to 100 years, and meet stringent UL, VDE, CQC and CSA standards.

Applications of the Si828x series include industrial motor drives, solar inverters, high-voltage power converters, uninterruptable power supplies, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) compressor control.

An important feature of the Si828x is a 4 amp gate driver coupled with desaturation detection to monitor the IGBT for over-current. In that event, the Si828x driver initiates a controlled shutdown of the switch while updating the controller with the fault status, protecting the IGBT and the system.


Additional integrated features include split outputs, a Miller clamp to prevent parasitic gate turn-on, and driver power state and fault feedback to the controller.

“Today’s power inverters and converters for industrial and green energy designs require state-of-the-art signal isolation technology with superior timing characteristics, lower emissions and higher reliability,” said Ross Sabolcik, Vice President of power products at Silicon Labs. “Silicon Labs’ new Si828x ISOdriver family provides the ultimate gate driver solution for these applications by helping developers achieve higher system efficiency and noise immunity, minimize design complexity, and enhance system safety and product lifetimes.”

Key features of the Si828x ISOdriver family are summarised below:-

  • Industrial-grade isolation: high transient immunity, high reliability, 5 kVrms withstand
  • Optional integrated dc-dc converter simplifying board layout and driver supply design
  • Industry’s fastest desaturation detection: up to 10x faster than competitive alternatives
  • Fastest, most accurate timing specs with low propagation delay ( < 55 ns): up to 10x better than optocoupler solutions and up to 2x better than competing CMOS solutions
  • Long lifetimes under high-voltage conditions (100 years at 1000 V)
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Samples and production quantities of the Si828x isolated gate drivers are available now in a variety of compact wide-body SOIC packages. Pricing in 10,000-unit quantities begins at $1.59 for base driver products and $2.87 for devices with an integrated dc-dc converter.

The Si8285_86-KIT, Si8281-KIT and Si8284-KIT evaluation kits are priced at $19.00 each (USD MSRP). For more information, view the full Press release.




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