High Voltage Seminar

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1.6 Isolated gate driver 101: From insulation spec to end equipment requirement

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March 29, 2021
Isolated gate drivers are gaining more interest in high power density power supplies due to their superior dynamic performance and decreasing costs as more IC vendors drive innovation and enter the market. There are a few popular isolation technologies currently used in today’s isolated gate drivers, and it is a challenge to compare them in key areas including: the insulation specifications, how the ICs are production tested, and how they are qualified and certified by independent agencies. Due to lengthy system-level isolation standards and multiple component-level standards, the designer may find it difficult to pick the optimal part with the right insulation level and package size with sufficient creepage/clearance distances to meet the requirements. Without fully comprehending the driver insulation specifications and the system-level isolation requirements, the designer often opts to choose an isolated driver that is “over-designed”. This presentation will answer all these questions by summarizing the isolation technologies, studying the datasheet insulation table, and illustrating the isolation testing methodologies within the context of end equipment standards. The final section will summarize the best practices to optimize system performance with the state-of-the-art isolated gate drivers.

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