Isolated gate driver for SIC boosts efficiency by four percentage points

December 18, 2019 //By Nick Flahery
The MAX22701E isolated gate driver from Maxim Integrated Products reduces overall system energy loss by 30 percent and has up to 3x higher common mode transient performance
The MAX22701E isolated gate driver from Maxim Integrated Products reduces overall system energy loss by 30 percent and has up to 3x higher common mode transient performance

Maxim Integrated Products has launched an isolated gate driver for silicon carbide transistors that allows designers of high-voltage/high-power systems to improve power supply efficiency by up to 4 percentage points.

The MAX22701E isolated gate driver is aimed at switch-mode power supplies within industrial communication systems for solar power inverters, motor drives, electric cars, energy storage systems, uninterrupted power supplies, data farms and high-power/high-efficiency power supplies.

Many switch-mode power supply applications are adopting wide-bandgap silicon carbide (SiC) transistors to improve power efficiency and transistor reliability. However, the high switching frequency incurs transients that generate noise, which either disrupts operations or requires extensive mitigation. The MAX22701E offers the industry's highest common-mode transient immunity (CMTI) of 300kV/µs typical to deliver industry-leading reliability. CMTI is up to 3x higher than the closest competitor, which results in increased system uptime.

The gate driver propagation delay of 35ns typical is half that of other drives and the propagation delay matching between the high-side and low-side gate drivers at 5ns maximum is a fifth, helping to reduce the transistor's dead time. This, in turn, improves power efficiency up to 4 percentage points. In the 90 percent efficiency range, every 1 percentage point in efficiency results in about a 10 percent improvement in power loss. For example, improving efficiency from 90 to 94 percent results in an approximately 30 to 40 percent reduction in wasted power (6 versus 10 points of wasted power.)

"As our customers adopt SiC technology to deliver smaller and more efficient power supply systems, we enable maximum system efficiency with increased system uptime," said Timothy Leung, director, Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at Maxim Integrated.

The MAX22701E is available in an 8-pin narrow body SOIC package (3.90mm x 4.90mm) with an extended temperature range of -40-degree to +125-degree Celsius. It is available at Maxim's website for $1.69 (1000-up, FOB USA); also available from authorized distributors. The MAX22701EVKIT# evaluation kit is available for $44.

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