Gate Drive Transformers


Application Notes > Custom Transformers > Gate Drive Transformers

Modern day electronic circuits utilize many gated semiconductor devices such as ordinary transistors, field effect transistors, and S.C.R.s and others. Gate drive transformers are used in some of these circuits. A signal must be supplied to (or removed from) the devices gate node to activate (or deactivate) the device. When used, gate drive transformers are located within the circuitry driving the gate. Gate drive transformers are used to modify the voltage level to the gate, provide impedance matching, and to provide voltage isolation. Gate drive transformer may be used to deliver voltage to the grids or plates of a vacuum tube or flash tube.

Some gate drive transformers simply deliver a voltage pulse or a series of voltage pulses to a semiconductor gate. A gate drive transformer functioning in this manner could also be called a pulse transformer. Most circuit designers would consider these gate drive transformers to be a type of pulse transformer. If the gate drive transformers pulse initiates some action or event, the gate drive transformer could be called a trigger transformer. Some applications require a close reproduction of the pulse. The gate transformer designer will seek to minimize winding capacitance and leakage inductance because these parasitic components distort the signal. Additional information is available regarding pulse transformers.

Some amplifying circuits use a gate drive transformer to deliver a signal to a semiconductor gate. Here the objective is to reproduce the signal, but with increased power and increased voltage or current. The gate transformer designer will seek to minimize winding capacitance and leakage inductance because these parasitic components distort the signal. In most amplifying circuits the signal is injected into a direct current biased transistor circuit, hence the gate transformer may have to tolerate a D.C. current bias. Even though these gate drive transformers drive a gate, circuit designers will usually refer to them as signal transformers.

Gate drive transformers exist in a variety of shapes and sizes. There is also a wide variety of core materials available for use with different applications. If you need more information please contact Gowanda and ask for Engineering.

Gowanda designs and manufactures gate drive transformers in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. This includes various standard types of core with bobbin structures (E, EP, EFD, PQ, POT, U and others), toroids and some custom designs. Our upper limits are 40 pounds of weight and 2 kilowatts of power. Our capabilities include foil windings, Litz wire windings and perfect layering. For toroids, the list includes sector winding, progressive winding, bank winding and progressive bank winding. Gowanda has a variety of winding machines, including programmable automated machines and a taping machine for toroids. Gowanda has vacuum chambers for vacuum impregnation and can also encapsulate. To ensure quality, Gowanda utilizes programmable automated testing machines. Most of our production is 100% tested on these machines.