Single-chip GaN Gate Driver from STMicroelectronics Boosts Speed, Flexibility, and Integration in Industrial and Home Automation

By Taryn Engmark

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

August 31, 2021


Single-chip GaN Gate Driver from STMicroelectronics Boosts Speed, Flexibility, and Integration in Industrial and Home Automation

STMicroelectronics’ STDRIVEG600 half-bridge gate driver has high current output and 45ns propagation delay, closely matched between high-side and low-side outputs, to handle high-frequency switching of GaN enhancement-mode FETs.

Also suitable for driving N-channel silicon MOSFETs at up to 20V, the STDRIVEG600 allows the flexibility to apply up to 6V gate-source voltage (VGS) on GaN devices to ensure low Rds(on). There is also an integrated bootstrap circuit that helps minimize the bill of materials and simplify board layout. This circuit uses a synchronous MOSFET that lets the bootstrap voltage reach the logic supply voltage, VCC, allowing the driver to operate from a single supply without a low-dropout regulator (LDO).

With dV/dt immunity of ±200V/ns, the STDRIVEG600 ensures gate control in challenging electrical environments. The logic inputs are CMOS/TTL compatible down to 3.3V for interfacing with a host microcontroller or DSP. The high-side section withstands up to 600V, allowing use in applications with a high-voltage bus up to 500V.

The outputs have 5.5A/6A sink/source capability and provide separated turn-on and turn-off pins that let designers choose how to control the gate. Both the high-side and low-side circuits support Kelvin connection to the power-switch source for enhanced control. Dedicated ground and supply-voltage connections for the low-side driver ensure stable switching with the Kelvin connection and allow a shunt resistor to be used for current sensing without additional isolation or input filtering.

Built-in safety functions include under-voltage lockout (UVLO) on both the lower and upper driving sections to prevent the power switches from operating in low efficiency or dangerous conditions. There is also interlocking to avoid cross-conduction, as well as over-temperature protection. A dedicated pin for shutdown functionality is also available.

Two development boards are available to jump-start new projects. The EVSTDRIVEG600DG contains a 150mΩ 650V GaN HEMT in 5mm x 6mm PowerFLAT package with Kelvin source. The EVSTDRIVEG600DM comes with a STL33N60DM2 MDmesh 115mΩ 600V silicon power MOSFET with fast recovery diode in 8mm x 8mm PowerFLAT with Kelvin source or alternative DPAK package.

The STDRIVEG600 is suited to applications such as high-voltage PFC, DC/DC, and DC/AC converters, switched-mode power supplies, UPS systems, solar generators, and motor drivers for home appliances, factory automation, and industrial drives. 

For more information please visit STMicroelectronics.