Gate driver board for Wolfspeed SIC FETs

Gate driver board for Wolfspeed SIC FETs

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By Nick Flaherty

Skyworks Solutions has developed an isolated gate driver reference design that operates with Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide (SiC) power modules. 

The Si828x gate driver board (GDB) simplifies design and enables increased integration for automotive applications by replacing competing designs with more complex gate driver board layouts.

The GDB, launched at the electronica exhibition in Munich this week, is designed and tested for Wolfspeed XM3 SiC FET modules and instantiated on an evaluation board.

The growing adoption of SiC for power conversion and inverter applications is driving the need for gate drivers that are optimized for SiC FETs. The GDB is designed to keep high voltage/high current SiC modules from overloading, simplifying automotive traction inverter design for high-growth EV markets by providing a complete, high power-capable reference design.

This allows design engineers to easily implement the power switching stage of systems that can survive and operate well under extreme short-circuit conditions by combining the Si828x’s short-circuit protection feature with the rugged SiC XM3 module.

Customers can purchase the Si828x-AAWB-KIT gate driver board kit in small numbers via Skyworks distribution partners, Arrow, Digikey and Mouser.

“We are excited about this continued partnership,” said Mark Thompson, senior vice president of Mixed Signal Solutions at Skyworks. “Our Si828x gate drivers were originally tested with Wolfspeed SiC MOSFETs. Now, in adding the GDB board, we have a complete tried-and-true solution for the market.”

“We have teamed up with Skyworks to validate their gate driver board that pairs with our XM3 SiC FET power modules. The Si828x gate driver board is very robust for protecting the power module during a short circuit event, detecting the load fault and shutting off the XM3 in less than one microsecond,” said Austin Curbow, manager of the Applications & Systems Team for Power Modules at Wolfspeed. “Further, its robust 15 Amp source and sink capability maximizes switching speed, minimizing switching losses and increasing efficiency.”;

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