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Drive chips target appliance market
Published:  01 November, 2002

Drive chips target appliance market

International Rectifier has developed a family of three-phase inverter driver chips which, it claims, could cut the cost and complexity of small variable speed drives. The IR2136 chips are aimed, in particular at appliances such as washing machines and air conditioners, but could also be used in small industrial VSDs up to 2kW.

The 600V chips combine high-voltage gate drivers for six Mosfet or IGBT power semiconductors with protection functions including over-current trips. IR says that they could halve the size of gate driver circuits and cut component counts by up to 30%. The chips are said to deliver a better performance than optocouplers or transformers, with a turn-on and turn-off time of 400ns, and a deadtime of 250ns.

Appliance manufacturers are starting to adopt variable speed motors which can halve energy consumption as well as offering new features. Alberto Guerra, director if IR`s appliance business unit, says that the new devices offer the functions and the protection "to make variable speed motor technology practical for the competitive appliance market".

The chips are suitable for 110-360V inverters driving AC induction, brushless DC or switched reluctance motors.

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