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National Semi reveals first 100V driver for e-mode GaN FETs

The highly-integrated gallium nitride half-bridge gate driver boosts power density and efficiency in high-voltage applications.

National Semiconductor has unveiled what it claims is the industry's first 100V half-bridge gate driver optimised for use with enhancement-mode GaN power FETs in high-voltage power converters.  National's new LM5113 is a highly-integrated, high-side and low-side GaN FET driver that reduces component count by 75 % and shrinks printed circuit board (PCB) area by up to 85 % compared to discrete driver designs.

  Designers of power bricks and communications infrastructure equipment require high power efficiency in the smallest form factor.  Enhancement-mode GaN FETs enable new levels of efficiency and power density compared to standard MOSFETs due to their low on-resistance and gate charge as well as their ultra-small footprint, but driving them reliably presents significant new challenges.  National's LM5113 driver IC eliminates these challenges, enabling power designers to realise the benefits of GaN FETs in a variety of popular power topologies. Meeting the stringent gate drive requirements of enhancement-mode GaN FETs requires multiple discrete devices and significant circuit and PCB design effort.  National's LM5113 fully-integrated enhancement-mode GaN FET driver greatly reduces circuit and PCB design effort and delivers industry-best power density and efficiency. "National's LM5113 bridge driver helps designers unleash the performance of eGaN FETs by simplifying the design," said Alex Lidow, co-founder and CEO for Efficient Power Conversion Corporation.  "The LM5113 dramatically reduces component count, and paired with our eGaN FETs, enables a tremendous PCB area savings and higher level of power density versus equivalent MOSFET-based designs." National's LM5113 is a 100V bridge driver for enhancement-mode GaN FETs.  Using proprietary technology, the device regulates the high side floating bootstrap capacitor voltage at approximately 5.25V to optimally drive enhancement-mode GaN power FETs without exceeding the maximum gate-source voltage rating.  The LM5113 also features independent sink and source outputs for flexibility of the turn-on strength with respect to the turn-off strength.  A low impedance pull down path of 0.5 Ω provides a fast, reliable turn-off mechanism for the low threshold voltage enhancement-mode GaN power FETs, helping maximize efficiency in high frequency power supply designs.  The LM5113 features an integrated high-side bootstrap diode, further minimizing PCB real estate.  The LM5113 also provides independent logic inputs for the high-side and low-side drivers, enabling flexibility for use in a variety of both isolated and non-isolated power supply topologies. National's LM5113 is offered in a 10-pin 4 mm by 4 mm LLP package and cost $1.65 each in quantities of 1,000.  Samples are available now and production quantities will be available in September.

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