SiC gate drivers can be used with existing discrete SiC power devices to implement scalable, high operating temperature, radiation hard power management and distribution systems and power processing units for satellites and other spacecraft. In these applications, the gate drivers will enable low mass power electronics for space by fully enabling the performance advantages of SiC switches. The extreme temperature capability and radiation tolerance will make them useful for even the most demanding space applications such as the exploration of Venus and long duration Jupiter/Europa missions. Earth based applications for SiC gate drivers include electrically driven actuators on more electric aircraft and gate drivers for switches in aircraft circuit protection applications. In these applications the gate drivers are co-located with power switches which see high temperatures due to close location with the power switches and due to heating during electrical overstress events.
The SiC gate driver and SiC integrated circuits in general will also have applications in the areas of defense, aerospace, scientific research, energy exploration, and industrial controls. DoD needs high temperature and radiation tolerant power electronics for space and missile defense applications. The automotive industry could utilize SiC gate drivers in their efforts to operate SiC switches at temperatures higher than 175 deg. C. Scientific applications include instrumentation and power devices for physics research facilities which place extreme demands on power electronics technology. High temperature electronics, including power electronics, are needed for improved downhole tools for geothermal energy exploration, development, and production as future super critical wells will require electronics operating at junction temperatures over 400 deg. C for long periods of time.