SiC gate driver boosts 800V isolation

SiC gate driver boosts 800V isolation

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By Nick Flaherty

Texas Instruments has launched a gate driver for 800V traction inverters using silicon carbide (SiC) switches. 

The UCC5880-Q1 provides more real time control of the gate drive in steps between 20A and 5A using a 4MHz SPI signal. This can improve system efficiency by up to 2% by minimizing losses, giving up to 7 miles more per charge.

Integrated monitoring and protection reduces the external component cost. A SiC traction inverter reference design developed in TI includes the gate driver, bias supply power module, real time microcontroller and high precision sensing using SiC MOSFETs from Wolfspeed. The withstand isolation is 5kV and the transient isolation is 7kV.

It is designed to be paired with the UCC14141-Q1 isolated bias supply module.

“With the introduction of 800V systems the focus on electrification really exploded,” said Laszlo Balogh, senior technologist at TI. “One of the biggest obstacles to making EVs more accepted is the charging time. Charge rates that are suitable for long term use and OBCs re an integral part of the vehicle and it is an important area for innovation in next generation vehicles.”

Built in self test (BIST) in the chip provides data that is indicative of where the driver is on the lifetime curve for extra safety, he says, and it will support switching speeds up to 700kHz to 1MHz but the inverter designs are limited to 20kHz for the back propagation of the SiC devices.

The UCC5880-Q1 was launched at the PCIM Europe 2023 exhibition and is available in early production.


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