Silicon isolator will replace optocouplers, says Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs is offering a CMOS-based drop-in replacement for optocoupler-isolated gate drivers.


Supporting up to 5kV isolation ratings and up to 10kV surge protection, the Si826x isolated gate drivers emulate the behaviour of opto-drivers by modulating a high-frequency carrier instead of light from an LED.

According to the supplier, the simpler digital architecture provides a robust isolated data path that requires no special considerations or initialisation at start-up.

While the input circuit mimics the characteristics of an LED, the devices require less drive current, resulting in higher efficiency.

The propagation delay time of Si826x devices is independent of the input drive current, resulting in consistently short propagation times of 25ns.

The devices will drive power MOSFETs and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) used in motor control and power inverter applications.

They support gate drive voltages of up to 30V and peak output current ranging from 0.6A to 4.0A.

Samples and production quantities of the Si826x isolated gate drivers are available now in four package options: SOIC-8 (3.75 kV isolation rating), GW DIP-8 (3.75 kV isolation rating), SO-6 (5 kV isolation rating) and LGA-8 (5 kV isolation rating).

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