Module aimed at 900V powertrains
NXP Semiconductors is working with Hitachi on a power module using 1200 V SiC transistors (writes Nick Flaherty).
The collaboration combines NXP’s GD3160 isolated gate driver and Hitachi Energy’s RoadPak SiC half-bridge power modules for faster development of efficient, reliable and functionally safe EV powertrains using 900V battery packs.
The RoadPak uses 1200 V SiC MOSFETs, integrated cooling pin-fins and low-inductance connections in a form factor of 110 x 69 mm with a height of 17.35 mm, although the recommended clearance is 6.9 mm. Variants with currents of 580, 780 and 980 A support applications from e-buses and electric passenger vehicles to high-performance Formula E racecars.
The GD3160 is a single-channel high-voltage isolated gate driver that supports SiC MOSFETS up to 1700 V. It has ±15 A of gate current drive capability and a fast DeSat block, which can detect and react against short-circuits in the MOSFETs in less than 1 µs.
The gate driver is programmable via the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), and adds protection and fault reporting features such as 2LTO, Soft Shutdown (SSD), DeSat Threshold, and over-temperature warning. It also includes power device temperature sensing and functional safety features such as analogue built-in self-test, and a comms watchdog circuit that continually checks the comms link to meet the requirements of ASIL-C or ASIL-D functional safety.
A half-bridge evaluation kit is populated with two GD3160 single-channel IGBT/SiC MOSFET gate drive devices, one to drive each RoadPak module. The kit includes the Freedom KL25Z microcontroller hardware for interfacing a PC installed with Flex GUI software for communicating with the SPI registers on the gate drive devices in either daisy chain or standalone configuration.
The GD3160 translator board is used to translate 3.3 V signals to 5.0 V signals between the microcontroller and MC33GD3160 gate drivers.
“By pairing the GD3160 with Hitachi Energy’s RoadPak SiC module, we’ve delivered a solution that aims to reduce the transition time from evaluation to performance optimisation of SiC MOSFETs used in traction inverters,” said Robert Li, vice-president and general manager of NXP’s Drivers & Energy Systems product line.