I was in a meeting last night where we were discussing a gate drive issue. The gate drive was causing a trip at a certain current level and the solution that we were talking about was a simplification. It involved removing the clever silicon solution and replacing it with a simpler optically isolated bespoke gate drive.
The silicon solution is great. It provides fault protection and switching device management for the fault turn off. It also adds lots of stuff in how it works that the silicon vendor is never going to disclose in full. And so this means that you are trusting them with the gate drive and you cannot know exactly how it works or doesn’t work.
Is this good? Well if it works it is truly fantastic and speeds the development. If there are issues then you are dealing with the FAE or maybe the silicon development team.
For gate drives it is fairly clear that if it works then all good. If there are issues then sorting them out is often time consuming and frustrating.
Am I saying that it is easy – no I am not. All I am saying is that gate drive problems are typical rather than unusual. Right now I know of a charge pump gate drive and it drops out when the pulses are too long and I know of this gate drive problem with the tripping on the chip set.
Over the years I have looked at a number of gate drives. Once I rode around in the back of an electric bus every Monday and Tuesday of a month looking at gate drive pulses. And so I put together a quick ten point guide to gate drive issues.
Ans if you haven’t got a copy you can get it by clicking the link below.
And over the years it increased to a fourteen point guide.