Peregrine applies SoI UltraCMOS technology to claim fastest GaN FET driver

July 13, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Peregrine Semiconductor has been best known for building low-parasitic devices such as RF switches and other functions in its UltraCMOS, silicon-on-insulator technology; now, it is applying the same process to fabricate the very fast drivers needed to get the optimum performance from gallium nitride power MOSFETs.

The UltraCMOS PE29100 is a half-bridge GaN FET driver with internal dead-time control. The high-speed driver operates up to 33 MHz and handles voltages up to 80V. It delivers a short propagation delay of 8 nsec. It has a rise time of 2.5 nsec and fall time of 1.8 nsec when driving a 1000 pF load and 1 nsec rise and fall times with 100 pF load. The PE29100 has a one-pin, single-phase input mode and has an output source current of 2A and an output sink current of 4A.


The UltraCMOS PE29100 is able, says Peregrine, to assist design engineers to extract the full performance and speed advantages from GaN transistors. Designed to drive the gates of a high-side and a low-side GaN FET in a switching configuration, the PE29100 delivers fastest switching speeds, shortest propagation delays and lowest rise and fall times to [GaN FETs used in] AC-DC converters, DC-DC converters, class D audio amplifiers and wireless charging applications.

Compared to MOSFETs, GaN FETs operate much faster and have higher switching speeds: the promise of GaN is that it can dramatically reduce the size and weight of any power supply. To reach their performance potential, these high-performance GaN transistors need an optimized gate driver. This FET driver must charge and discharge gate capacitance as fast as possible, and it must have very low propagation delay to allow fast signals. It also must avoid “shoot through” by not turning on high-side and low-side FETs at the same time. The PE29100 is designed specifically for this purpose.


GaN device maker EPC comments, “Our enhancement-mode GaN (eGaN) transistors deliver a whole new spectrum of performance compared to MOSFETs.” CEO Alex Lidow continues, “GaN FET drivers, like Peregrine’s UltraCMOS PE29100, enable design engineers to unlock the true potential of eGaN FET technology.”


Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology platform is the driving force behind the PE29100’s industry- leading speed. Mark Moffat, director