Gideon Analytical Laboratories received four National LM5111-1m dual 5A compound gate drivers. There were two bad devices and two good ones for comparison. A gate driver is a power amplifier that accepts a low-power input from a controller IC and produces a high current drive input for the gate of a high-power transistor. They consist of a level shifter in combination with an amplifier. They can power IGBTs and MOSFETs. They can help control electronics that need higher power than the PWM signals can generate. No information was given to Gideon Analytical Laboratories about the nature or cause of these failing National LM5111-1m dual 5A compound gate drivers.
Failure analysis was performed. There was no mechanical damage to the plastic or the lead frame of the 8-pin SOIC gate driver. All the devices were electrically tested on a curve tracer to determine the condition of each lead. Both the failed devices had dead shorts in similar locations, respectively. Both failed sites had burn marks, which were caused by an excessive voltage on the supply line.
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