Basic gate driver optocouplers are widely used to provide reinforced insulation and to deliver high gate voltage and current to drive power switches like IGBTs or power MOSFETs. Due to their simplicity, designers have to add external discrete components such as:
- LED driver for transmitting PWM signal
- DC-DC controller for isolated secondary power supply
- Buffer stage to amplify the current
- Protection to detect fault in the IGBT
- Miller clamp to prevent false input
- Isolated feedback to the controller
Smart gate drive optocouplers integrate all these functions into a single small outline 16 to 32 pin IC. This helps to lower the discrete component count and PCB space, reducing costs and design cycle time. These integrated functions help to protect the expensive IGBT from short circuit or over current, false output and damaging high voltage transients. This improves the reliability of the expensive power switches and reduces system failures and operating costs. Besides the standard functions of insulate, drive, protection and feedback, Broadcom offers a wide range of smart gate drive optocouplers with additional features to enhance application needs. They range from more than 100kV/µs high noise immunity for SiC/GaN MOSFET applications to integrated DC-DC controller to provide isolated power supply.
- Learn the benefits of smart gate drive optocouplers over basic gate drivers
- Understand Broadcom's smart gate drive portfolio and features
- Discover tools available to help design smart gate drive optocouplers
Tee Chun Keong started his career with Avago Technologies in 2006 as an application engineer in the Isolation Products Division. He is now the Broadcom Inc. worldwide product manager for gate drive optocouplers and is involved in the new product development and market expansion. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.