The Industry's Smallest Automotive Gate Drivers with Built-in Isolator

ROHM has recently announced the development of gate drivers with a built-in isolator ideal for IGBTs and power MOSFETs used in inverters in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

The BM6103FV-C series utilizes proprietary BiCDMOS and on-chip transformer technologies to minimize size, resulting in the industry's smallest gate drivers with built-in isolator. In addition, power consumption is significantly reduced compared with conventional photocoupler systems, and all protection circuits required for EVs and HEVs are included, reducing design load for inverter systems. The BM6103FV-C series also supports high-speed SiC (Silicon Carbide) MOSFET switching for greater efficiency in next-generation power devices.

The emergence and proliferation of EVs and HEVs have increased the demand for smaller inverter circuits with improved characteristics and performance. This essentially entails reducing the size of the gate drivers (6) mounted within the inverter. However, multiple protection functions are required to provide the necessary to degree of safety for severe driving environments in automotive applications, along with external isolators (i.e. photocouplers) to protect against electric shocks. Protection against noises caused by high-speed switching from SiC devices, which are regarded as the successor to silicon as a next-generation semiconductor element, is also required.

In answer to these challenges ROHM succeeded in developing compact gate drivers that integrate an isolator through on-chip transformer and microfabrication processes. This not only eliminates the need for external components, but also reduces mounting area by approximately 50% compared with conventional products. In addition, all protection circuits required for automotive inverter circuits are built in, contributing to smaller inverters and design loads. And in order to provide protection against switching noise from SiC devices ROHM optimized circuit design based on testing with its own SiC devices and modules, resulting in the industry's only SiC-compatible gate drivers with built-in isolator.

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