Time spent at the APEC (Applied Power Electronics Conference) show last week revealed one thing for sure—the debate between Gallium nitride (GaN) and Silicon carbide (SiC) is alive and well. Those in the know say there’s actually no debate, that there’s a proper place for each. But that still didn’t stop the two sides from taking swipes at each other.
Texas Instruments is a key player in that debate, and announced a pair of GaN FET drivers that the company is touting as the “smallest and fastest” available. Such drivers (and the associated high speed) are required for applications like light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and 5G RF envelope tracking.
The LMG1020 and LMG1210 devices can deliver 50-MHz switching frequencies while improving efficiency and enabling five times smaller solution sizes. Such small size wasn’t possible with silicon MOSFETs.
With a minimum pulse width of 1 ns, the LMG1020 60-MHz low-side GaN driver enables high-accuracy lasers. The 0.8- by 1.2-mm wafer-level chip-scale (WCSP) package helps minimize gate-loop parasitics and losses, further boosting efficiency.
The LMG1210 is a 50-MHz half-bridge driver designed for GaN FETs up to 200 V. The device's adjustable dead time control feature is designed to improve efficiency by as much as 5% in high-speed DC/DC converters, motor drives, Class-D audio amplifiers, and other power-conversion applications. Designers can achieve high system-noise immunity with a common-mode transient immunity (CMTI) of more than 300 V/ns.
Designers can quickly and easily evaluate these new devices with TI’s LMG1020EVM-006 and LMG1210EVM-012 evaluation modules and SPICE models. Prototype samples of the LMG1020 and LMG1210 are now available in the TI store. The LMG1020 is priced at $1.79, while the LMG1210 costs $2.19, both in 1000-unit quantities.
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