|Dimensions||6000μm x 5350μm|
For high-voltage high-current power converters, it may be necessary to realize a switch by connecting smaller devices in parallel and series. Beyond higher voltage and current capability, this approach also helps to achieve high availability, high-frequency operation, and low cost due to built-in redundancy, reduced dynamic losses, and the use of modular standardized units. Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) are very convenient to realize such units because of their quasi-linear controllability via a gate terminal.
In this project it has been proposed to provide each IGBT driver with a primary local control which is monitoring and adjusting the IGBT?s static and dynamic behavior. Secondary control is then realized to synchronize the operation of multiple IGBTs. The discovery of a globally synchronous signal, that can be derived locally, makes it possible to use low-cost low-bandwidth data links between series-connected units. Furthermore, a flexible master-slave approach can avoid the need of a dedicated global controller. That is, the entire system becomes manageable by the local gate drive circuitry.
A prototype ASIC has been fabricated in CMOS technology with high-voltage extension. The gate driver is partitioned into fourteen clusters with a measured gate current capability of 1A each. It allows for real-time reconfiguration of the structure to optimize the dynamic response of the system.