Design and Integrated Circuit Implementation of a Driver Circuit for GaN HFETs


Reference #:  00710

Potential Applications:

The subject invention will improve the circuit processes of power electronics (e.g. consumer, IT, automotive, and industrial) in high-power, high-temperature, high-speed, and high-efficiency applications.

Advantages and Benefits:

The drive circuit uses the topology of the resonant circuit with effective energy recovery that leads to:

·      low gate-drive loss,

·      fast switching speed,

·      voltage clamping,

·      small cross-conduction power loss, and

·      high tolerance of timing variation of the control signals


Invention Description:

The invention consists of a novel resonant drive circuit design that uses III-Nitride heterojunction field effect transistors.  The driver is designed to make III-Nitride heterojunction field effect transistors (HFETs) available for use in power electronic circuits.  


Designing a switch that works at high frequencies is not easily accomplished, primarily because high speeds make it difficult to maintain high efficiency. When a switch works at high switching frequencies, switching power loss will surge rapidly, and the overall efficiency will decline. Furthermore the control characteristic of HFET is different from those of P or N channel MOSFETs, which are power devices typically used in power electronics. They are a zero-voltage-switch-on devices and, in other words, they need a zero voltage to turn on and a negative voltage to turn off.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
DRIVER CIRCUIT FOR GALLIUM NITRIDE (GaN) HETEROJUNCTION FIELD EFFECT TRANSISTORS (HFETs).” Utility United States 12/690,495 8,054,110 1/20/2010 11/8/2011 2/28/2030  
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Antonello Monti
Bo Wang
Jason Bakos
Marco Riva
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