Galvanic Isolation Adapters for safer debugging
iSystem in Germany has launched a series of Galvanic Isolation Adapters which prevent developers from personal injury and equipment from electrical damage without affecting signal integrity.
The Galvanic Isolation Adapters are available for Infineon AURIX, Arm Cortex and NXP / STMicroelectronics Power Architecture MCUs.
Galvanic isolation is required where two or more electric circuits communicate with each other, but their grounds may be at different potentials. It is an effective method of breaking ground loops between the different circuits, preventing unwanted current from flowing between the two units sharing a ground conductor. Galvanic isolation is also important for safety reasons, preventing accidental current from reaching ground through a person’s body.
The iSystem Galvanic Isolation Adapters provide isolation between development equipment like a development PC such as the iC5700 BlueBox debugger on one side and the target microcontroller on the other. The BlueBox and the embedded target are separately powered and isolated from each other. The Galvanic isolation adapters are powered separately as well via a USB-C Power supply adapter. A grounding wire connected to the BlueBox and the embedded target circuit wires out the ground potential between the two components which can exceed 1000V even before any of the devices are powered up.
The adapters provide a basic isolation that withstands high voltages. However, when dealing with potentially hazardous voltages it is mandatory to have a second protection measure in place, in case the first insulation barrier fails.
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