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Driving SiC MOSFET Power Switches

Controlling SiC MOSFET Power Switches with a full range of SCALE Gate Driver Products

Figure 1. Benefits of SiC MOSFETs

Silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs dramatically improve switching performance for high power inverter applications, providing high breakdown electric field strength and carrier drift velocity while enhancing thermal performance. However, SiC requires faster short-circuit protection in more compact designs, posting unique challenges for gate drivers that need to support varying voltages in different SiC architectures.

SCALE-iDriver SiC MOSFET Gate Driver ICs

PI’s new SIC1182K SCALE-iDriver IC is a high-efficiency, single-channel SiC MOSFET gate driver that delivers the highest peak-output gate current available without an external boost stage. It can be configured to support different gate-drive voltages matching the range of requirements seen in today’s SiC MOSFETs.

SCALE-2, SCALE-2+ Gate Driver Cores and SCALE-iDriver Gate Driver ICs

Besides driving conventional Si-based power devices like IGBTs and MOSFETs, SCALE-2 and SCALE-2+ gate driver cores, as well as SCALE-iDriver gate driver ICs, are able to drive SiC MOSFET power switches.

Available Gate Driver Products

SiC Presents Unique Challenges for Gate Drivers

SiC MOSFET switches from different suppliers and of different generations have different requirements for gate turn-on and turn-off voltage levels. Some devices are able to operate with 15 V / -10 V while others, for example, operate at 19 V / -6 V. Furthermore, some devices require a regulated turn-on voltage while others need a regulated negative turn-off voltage to ensure that they do not exceed the gate-source safe operating area.

To adjust SCALE gate drivers to the different requirements, the control (VEE regulator) of the voltage partitioning for the positive and negative voltage rails related to the gate turn-on and turn-off levels can be overruled. Please refer to Application Note AN-1601 for more details.

Figure 2. SCALE-iDriver supports different SiC MOSFETs by adjusting drive to match VGS requirements



2SC0115T 2SC0435T

Figure 3. Pinning of different SCALE gate drivers with marked VEx / VEE pins



Why Drive Sic MOSFETs with SCALE Gate Drivers?

  • Adjustable gate voltages by external VEE circuit
  • <=2 μs short-circuit response time
  • High output current capability
  • High isolation capability
  • Advance active clamping with dv/dt feedback
  • High switching frequency up to 500 kHz
  • For SiC MOSFET breakdown voltages up to 4.5 kV
  • High MTBF/low FITrate
  • Paralleling of MOSFET modules
  • Suitable for all SiC MOSFET designs
Figure 4. Setting for SiC MOSFET short circuit detection


Comprehensive Protection Features of SIC1182K

  • SiC Advanced Active Clamping
  • Ultrafast short-circuit monitoring
  • Over-current fault turn-off
  • Primary and secondary undervoltage lock-out (UVLO)
Figure 5. SIC1182K protection features