Universal half-bridge reference design boosts device comparisons 

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By Nick Flaherty

As the gate driver and PCB layout is the same for every transistor type, users will be able to compare and contrast their real-life switching performance and make informed choices about the right technology for their
application from a consistent platform. Packaging can make a significant difference to the performance of power devices and this platform allows designers to evaluate the performance of parts in a real design. 

The reference design consists of a half-bridge layout with a fully isolated driver stage using isolated power supplies for both the low-side and the high-side switching transistors. Included in the package are four sets of different DC/DC converters which generate the appropriate isolated driver voltages for the different transistor types. THis means designers can  select which TO247 or TO247-4L (Kelvin connection) packaged switching transistors they wish to evaluate from the supplier of their choice, fit the appropriate DC/DC converter to match and then rapidly prototype and test their application.

The reference design is a basic building block that can be used to evaluate forward, flyback, buck and boost topologies and by combining two or more units it can be used to evaluate full-bridge and 3-phase bridge circuits.

The PCB is optimized for high-speed switching up to 1000V at up to 10A gate drive current. The signal ground is galvanically isolated from the power ground and on-board BNC sockets are fitted for high speed connections to the external TTL signal generators. As the high-side and low-side control are separate, the reference design can also be used to implement asymmetric duty cycle, active clamp and phase shifted full-bridge topologies.

The R- REF01-HB reference design is available from all authorized RECOM distributors.



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