When you’re talking about power products and power supplies, galvanic isolation is a big deal. In that area, Silicon Labs has a wide portfolio of products that cover everything from digital isolators, which allow you to isolate a communication bus, or other digital signals up through high powered gate drivers to allow an interface to MOSFETs, IGBTs, or even GaN and silicon carbide.
We recently filmed a short video with Silicon Labs’ Ross Sabolcik who discussed the company’s interface products that allow ICs operating in a low-voltage domain — like ASICs, or FPGAs, or MCUs — to control high power domains for a variety of applications.
This kind of interfacing is tough to do because the interface devices must be able to withstand very high voltages. Silicon Labs isolators, for example, are rated up to 5,000 V of withstand. That allows them to communicate with very high dc bus voltages. The other thing that’s important in these applications is noise immunity. A fast switching device can generate large noise transients. The isolation device can’t falsely turn on, or off, which could damage the system.
Sabolcik took us through Silicon Labs digital isolation products, including the flagship family called the Si86X. That is from one to six channels of digital isolation up to 5,000 V, and the parts can be configured for any combination of forward and reverse channels.
Silicon Labs also showed its high-speed gate driver, the SI827X. It is optimized for wide bandgap devices that need fast switching. It has the ability to switch quickly but with extremely high noise immunity. It can do up to 200 kV/μsec of noise immunity, important for handling fast transients.