Electronic Design

Gate-Drive Optocoupler Targets Low-Power Motor Control

The HCPL-0314 gate-drive optocoupler from Agilent Technologies is the world's smallest gate-drive optocoupler, the company claims. Supplied in a small-outline SO-8 package, its small size helps reduce manufacturing costs while delivering superior performance for the home-appliance market.

This device is one member of the new family of 0.4-A output half-bridge gate-drive optocouplers designed specifically for low-power (up to 25 A) motor-control applications, including air conditioners and washing machines. The optocouplers are used in inverters based on insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) or power MOSFETs.

HCPL-0314 devices offer high common-mode rejection (10-kV/µs minimum at a common-mode voltage of 1.5 kV), a lower operating current (less than 3 mA), and a wider operating-temperature range (−40°C to 100°C) relative to competing gate-drive optocouplers. In addition to the SO-8 package, the HCPL-0314 is offered in the standard 8-pin DIP.

Other members of this optocoupler series include the HCPL-3140 and HCPL-T251 devices, which are primarily designed for low-power industrial applications. The HCPL-T251 features an operating current of less than 5 mA. The optocouplers can be powered using a bootstrap technique to eliminate the need for costly isolated power.

Compared to high-voltage ICs, the optocouplers offer superior galvanic isolation that fully isolates the microcontroller from high-voltage circuitry. The HCPL-3140 and -0314 feature a common-mode voltage of 600 V.

Pricing for all of the optocouplers is for quantities ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 units. The HCPL-0314 in a small-outline SO-8 package costs $0.87. Packaged in the standard 8-pin DIP, the HCPL-3140 and HCPL-T251 cost $0.83 and $0.81, respectively.

Agilent Technologies Inc., 3175 Bowers Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95054; (800) 235-0312, (650) 752-5000; www.agilent.com.

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