TI launches first GaN intelligent power module

TI launches first GaN intelligent power module

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Texas Instruments has launched an intelligent power module (IPM) using custom gallium nitride (GaN) devices that is says is the first in the industry.

The DRV7308 GaN IPM is aimed at 250W motor drives in applications such as air conditioning and refrigeration. The higher efficiency of the custom GaN switches eliminates the heatsink, reducing the footprint further from the 12 x 12mm QFN module.

“This is Industries first three phase IPM with integrated GaN for 250W motor drive with 99% efficiency,” said Dung Dang, application engineer at TI.

“This has the lowest dead time and propagation delay, both  under 200ns and that is higher switching for lower noise and vibration and eliminate the need for heat sinks and reduce the board size by 55%.”

“There is a lot of reuse of GaN technology at TI however the 650V GaN devices are designed from the ground up and are fine tuned with the gate drivers for motor control,” he said. The module uses 15kHz switching with an efficiency of 98.5% at 100W and 99% at 250W without heatsink. This compares to an efficiency of 97.5% at 250W for an IGBT design.

“You can go much higher than 15kHz and with with our samples we have systems running at 50 to 60KHz and that improves on efficiency at the system level,” he said.

MCU agnostic BLDC IC family enables high efficiency

Worldwide efficiency standards for appliances and HVAC systems such as SEER, MEPS, Energy Star and Top Runner are becoming increasingly stringent. The DRV7308 helps engineers meet these standards, leveraging GaN technology to deliver more than 99% efficiency and improve thermal performance, with 50% reduced power losses compared to existing solutions.

The module integrates short circuit protection for each FET and improves the reliability of the motors as well as reducing the audible noise.

“The life of the motor depends on the efficiency, so this extends the lifetime,” he said.

This is a new market for TI. “TI sees an opportunity to expand from traditional GaN solutions to IPMs with a new level of efficiency,” said Giovanni Campanella at TI. “We have a reference design in the form factor of a business card without a heat sink, that is simply the MCU plus the IPM.”

Pre- production quantities of the DRV7308 three-phase, 650V integrated GaN IPM are available for purchase now on starts at US$5.50 in 1,000-unit quantities. The DRV7308EVM evaluation module is also available at US$250.

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