Operation of a New Half-Bridge Gate Driver for Enhancement - Mode GaN FETs, Type LM5113, Over a Wide Temperature RangeA new commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) gate driver designed to drive both the high-side and the low-side enhancement-mode GaN FETs, National Semiconductor's type LM5113, was evaluated for operation at temperatures beyond its recommended specified limits of -40 C to +125 C. The effects of limited thermal cycling under the extended test temperature, which ranged from -194 C to +150 C, on the operation of this chip as well as restart capability at the extreme cryogenic and hot temperatures were also investigated. The driver circuit was able to maintain good operation throughout the entire test regime between -194 C and +150 C without undergoing any major changes in its outputs signals and characteristics. The limited thermal cycling performed on the device also had no effect on its performance, and the driver chip was able to successfully restart at each of the extreme temperatures of -194 C and +150 C. The plastic packaging of this device was also not affected by either the short extreme temperature exposure or the limited thermal cycling. These preliminary results indicate that this new commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) halfbridge eGaN FET driver integrated circuit has the potential for use in space exploration missions under extreme temperature environments. Further testing is planned under long-term cycling to assess the reliability of these parts and to determine their suitability for extended use in the harsh environments of space.
Patterson, Richard (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hammoud, Ahmad (ASRC Aerospace Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)