Generally, there are low, high side, as well as half-bridge and full-bridge gate drivers, existing in the market. I am keen to learn the basics of all such gate drivers in view of power electronics applications. Does anybody can share a technical guide/link which can help me to understand various sort of gate drivers with their examples. I will be thankful.


Gate drivers typically do the following things.

  • Provide large drive current (up to several amps) to allow faster switching. Driving a MOSFET directly from say a micro-controller pin can be too slow for some (but not all) applications.
  • Provide level translation. For example from 3.3V to say 15V.
  • Some bridge drivers or high side drivers may provide floating/bootstrap gate drive for N-Channel MOSFETs or IGBTs. This allows a gate drive signal higher than the supply voltages, which is required to turn on these devices.
  • Some drivers may provide isolation if the power electronics are isolated form the rest of the circuits. Notable manufacturers are...
    Analog Devices: https://www.analog.com/en/products/monitor-control-protection/isolated-gate-drivers.html
    Silicon Labs: https://www.silabs.com/isolation/isolated-gate-drivers
    Infineon: https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/power/gate-driver-ics/galvanic-isolated-gate-driver/
  • Some bridge drivers provide "dead time" to prevent current spikes. This is basically a small delay that is inserted between turning the top/bottom MOSFET off and turning the other one on.
  • Some bridge drivers provide "shoot through" control. Essentially this is boolean logic that prevents you from turning on the top and bottom MOSFET at the same time.
  • Some bridge drivers provide charge pumps. This allows turning on a high side MOSFET or IGBT with 100% duty cycle. With a charge pump one can leave the high side gate on indefinitely, whereas bootstrap gate drive requires that the gate switch at least occasionally.
    One example is...
    HIP4081A: https://www.renesas.com/us/en/document/dst/hip4081a-datasheet

Looking at datasheets for specific parts will give you examples of their use. You can find thosands of gate driver part numbers and datasheets at the major distributors such as Digikey, Mouser, Newark, Avnet, etc.


Manufacturers of such drivers also provide application notes on their web sites.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does HIP4081 really have charge pump? I think it's bootstrap driver \$\endgroup\$
    – fifi_22
    Dec 9 '20 at 4:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fifi_22 The HIP4081A has both a bootstrap driver and charge pump. It says so on page one of the datasheet. And I remember being able to drive DC high side signals on the last board I designed using it. \$\endgroup\$
    – user4574
    Dec 9 '20 at 5:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ To keep things clear: Any bootstrao driver can work with charge pump - just some have it internally and rest needs external one. Eg. Ne555 can work as charge pump for lower voltages. \$\endgroup\$
    – fifi_22
    Dec 9 '20 at 7:39

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