In ipXchange’s next piece of expedited coverage from PCIM, we’re back at the Power Integrations stand to chat with Torsten about their SCALE-iFlex gate drivers for IGBT, hybrid, and full-SiC (silicon carbide) MOSFET power modules rated at 1200-3300 V blocking voltage.
As Torsten explains, these plug-and-play gate drivers are a highly integrated, ready-made solution for driving power modules within renewable energy applications. That’s quite specific, but there’s no doubt at ipXchange why this would be an important market to tap.
With a footprint small enough to sit on top of the standard power modules used in these applications – whether that be wind, solar, or other – the SCALE-iFlex drivers provide designers with a redesign flexibility that is simply not possible for single control boards serving multiple power modules, and each SCALE-iFlex driver can provide easy control for up to four!
By sitting on top of the power module itself, SCALE-iFlex drivers allow designers to place power modules in the best positions for access and cooling, without having to worry that a simulation might later recommend a different spacing between the devices for better ventilation; this would usually result in a complete driver board redesign with a new spacing between power modules. To this end, the isolated temperature readout from each module can also be monitored via Power Integrations’ master driver interfaces so that customers can thermally regulate their complete system and adjust the cooling to maximise overall performance.
Power Integrations estimates that engineers can save 12-18 months of design time by using their off-the-shelf solution rather than designing a gate driver board from scratch. No characterisation is needed for most applications, and each driver comes with full electro-mechanical qualification for immediate use in a design. That said, if you’ve got more novel requirements, Power Integrations can help tune these drivers to suit your application.
At the time of this interview, these drivers were in the ‘engineering’ phase with sampling to select clients, but by now, we can expect they will be significantly closer to full production, so if you’re looking to get connected with Power Integrations, head to our board page and get evaluating.