" Gideon Analytical Laboratories received four National Semiconductor LM5111-1M dual 5A compound gate drivers. A gate driver is a power amplifier that accepts low-power input from a controller integrated circuit and produces a high-current drive input for the gate of a high power transistor. These LM5111 Dual Gate drivers have high peak output current and efficiency. Each of the compound output driver stage includes MOS and bipolar transistors operating in parallel that together sink more than 5A peak from capacitive loads. Each device will drive two N-Channel MOSFETs. Two devices were failures and the other two were good devices. The goal was to determine the cause of the failures.
Failure analysis was conducted on the two failed LM5111-1M dual 5A compound gate drivers. There was no mechanical damage. The devices were electrically tested using a curve tracer to determine the condition of each lead. The failed devices had dead shorts. Decapsulation revealed burn marks near the failure sites. These were caused by excessive voltage, which in turn broke down the silicon dioxide insulation between the supply and the ground. The failures on the LM5111-1M dual 5A compound gate drivers were all caused by electrical overstress (EOS).
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