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Gate driver IC can handle IGBT, SiC MOSFETs

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt


With a new gate driver chip, Renesas elegantly solves a dilemma: circuit designers can use it to build driver platforms for electric vehicles that can drive both conventional IGBTs and SiC MOSFETs, increasing design flexibility. The product is designed to help increase the adoption of EVs by realizing cost-efficient inverters, thereby minimizing environmental impacts, the vendor claims.

Gate driver ICs are essential components to EV inverters, providing an interface between the inverter control MCU and the IGBTs and SiC MOSFETs that deliver power to the inverter. They receive control signals from the MCU in the low-voltage domain and transfer these signals to rapidly turn power devices on and off in the high-voltage domain. To accommodate the higher voltages of EV batteries, the new RAJ2930004AGM has a built-in 3.75kVrms (kV root mean square) isolator, which is higher than the 2.5kVrms isolator in the previous generation product, and can support power devices with a withstand voltage of up to 1200V. In addition, the new driver IC boasts superior CMTI (Common Mode Transient Immunity) performance at 150 V/ns (nanosecond) or higher, providing reliable communication and increased noise immunity while meeting the high voltages and fast switching speeds required in inverter systems. The new product offers the basic functions of a gate driver in a small SOIC16 package, making it ideal for cost-effective inverter systems.

The RAJ2930004AGM can be used together with Renesas IGBTs as well as with IGBTs and SiC MOSFETs from other manufacturers. In addition to traction inverters, the gate driver IC is ideal for a wide range of applications that use power semiconductors, such as on-board chargers and DC/DC converters. To help developers bring their products to market quickly, Renesas offers the xEV Inverter Kit solution that combines gate driver ICs with MCUs, IGBTs, and power management ICs, and plans to release a version incorporating the new gate driver IC in the first half of 2023.

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