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Avago Tech Note: Smart gate-drive optocoupler with integrated flyback controller

Avago Technologies -March 13, 2015

Introduction

The new ACPL-302J is a smart gate drive optocoupler that improves isolated power supply and simplifies gate drive design. The ACPL-302J features an integrated flyback controller for DC-DC converters and a full set of fail-safe IGBT diagnostics, protection, and fault reporting, providing a complete cost-effective gate drive solution (Figure 1). With a 2.5A rail-to-rail output, the device is ideal for driving IGBTs and power MOSFETs in industrial power inverters and motor drives. The end result is an easy-to-use, compact, and affordable IGBT gate drive optocoupler solution.

 

The Centralized Power Supply

Gate drive optocouplers are used to provide high voltage reinforced galvanic insulation and deliver high output current to switch the IGBTs in motor drives or inverters. Discrete components like voltage comparators and transistor switches are used to protect expensive IGBTs during short circuit faults while digital optocouplers are used to provide isolated feedback. Avago Technologies has integrated these discrete components into the smart gate drive optocouplers like the ACPL-302J.

An isolated high-side power supply is required to provide static and switching power source for gate drivers and some miniature isolation amplifiers for current sensing (Figure 2). The common design uses a centralized power supply topology made up of a bulky 3-phase transformer and feedback controller to achieve a stable 3-phase DC source for the isolated high-side power supply.

 

In a centralized power supply system, the isolated high side power supply powers six gate drivers using a single large transformer. The transformer houses four secondary windings, three for the floating supplies for each phase of the top gate drivers and a common supply for the bottom gate drivers (Figure 3). In addition to the large transformer are large capacitors for filtering and large transistors for the primary winding switching are needed. These large devices impact real estate size and height. Also a centralized supply has inherent problems like electromagnetic interference (EMI) and noise coupling between IGBT channels due to the longer traces required to reach all six gate drivers.

 

 

The Distributed Power Supply

The ACPL-302J device was developed to improve isolated power supplies and simplify gate drive design. The device is optimized for distributed power supply topology (Figure 4 and 5). It is a 2.5A rail-to-rail smart gate drive optocoupler with an integrated flyback controller for DC-DC converters. By integrating the flyback controller, the ACPL-302J enables integration of smaller high-efficiency transformers to be placed next to the device (Figure 6). As a result, the designer can reduce the overall footprint, minimizing electromagnetic interference (EMI) and noise coupling between IGBT channels. With a smaller transformer, the primary winding switching transistor is integrated in the ACPL-302J and smaller capacitors can be used for filtering.

 

Summary

By integrating the flyback controller, the ACPL-302J device allows fewer discrete components and smaller transformers and capacitors to be placed next to the device, thus reducing the overall footprint of the design and minimizing electromagnetic interference (EMI) and noise coupling between IGBT channels. By reducing these elements of the design, there is a notable cost savings the designer can realize.

  

Contact us for your design needs at:  www.avagotech.com/smartgatedrive

 

Also see:

ACPL-302J Data

Download this Tech Note (PDF)

Avago Technical Note Library on EDN

 

 

 

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