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SOI-Based Integrated Gate Driver Circuit for High-Temperature Applications
Keywords: gate driver, high-temperature, silicon-on-insulator
The growing demand for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) has increased the need for high-temperature electronics that can operate at the temperatures that exist under the hood of these vehicles. In many cases this requires the use of thermal management systems to allow for the use of components not designed to operate at the ambient temperatures found in the engine compartment of an HEV. These systems add weight and complexity, which can increase the overall cost and reduce the efficiency of the vehicle. The alternative is to develop circuits and systems capable of operating with reduced or no thermal management. To this end, the latest version of our high-temperature gate driver IC has been developed. Designed and implemented on a 0.8-micron BCD on SOI process, this gate driver chip is intended to drive SiC and other wide-bandgap (WBG) power FETs for DC-DC converters and traction drives in HEVs. To enable this, the gate driver IC, which includes on-chip voltage regulators and protection circuitry, has been designed to operate at and successfully tested up to 200ºC ambient temperature. Successful operation of the circuit at this temperature with minimal or no heat sink, and without liquid cooling, will help to achieve higher power-to-volume as well as power-to-weight ratios for the power electronics modules in HEVs.
Robert L. Greenwell, Graduate Research Assistant
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN

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