Multilevel Technology

The key benefit of multilevel technologies is that they allow operation of silicon at efficiencies that rival/exceed GaN/SiC performance. ICERGi provides the low-cost supporting circuitry (direct power transfer drives, controllers etc) that make multilevel solutions practical across a wide range of power levels.

Multilevel technologies are seen as gaining significant share in AC-DC and DC-AC conversion, and all ICERGi gate drivers and controllers are capable of usage in multilevel conversion, indeed optimized for this deployment. Key advantages of such technologies relate to increased efficiency with minimal if any low line derating enabling a “true universal power supply” with 40% lower power dissipation at low line, as well as greatly reduced size (x4-x16) of magnetic components such as the PFC inductor and associated filtering. The low cost of ICERGi driver and control components acts as a key enabler for multilevel solutions, allowing them to be implemented at cost-parity with conventional designs in footprints that are 40% less than today’s designs. Fig. 1 outlines the benefits of ICERGi multilevel technologies in overall solution context.

Fig. 1 PFC Stage Technology Comparison (lower area is better)

 

A simplified Multilevel Boost converter is illustrated in Fig. 2. ICERGi has implemented two-part approaches (Fig. 3) to an overall multilevel component, with FETs on one board and a driver array on a companion board, and has captured IP to integrate these as a single component that can promote adoption of multilevel technologies with material value capture for semiconductor vendors.

Fig. 2 Simplified 3-Level Boost Converter Diagram

 

Fig. 3 ICERGi Multilevel Converter Implementation

 

For more details on transistor stacking and voltage sharing please refer to Gate Drive Technology page.
Please see the following white papers for more information:
WP-006 – Getting 99%+ with Silicon – an alternative to WBG Device Usage v1.1
WP-005 – Multilevel Technologies – The next step after interleaving v1.1