SiLabs unveils 'industry's first' six channel 5kV digital isolators

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Silicon Laboratories has launched a range of digital isolators that it claims offers the highest channel count, performance and data rate for applications with isolation ratings up to 5kV.

The Si86xx 3 3.75kV and 5kV digital isolators are designed to replace optocouplers in applications requiring robust operation and high levels of insulation protection, such as industrial automation and drives, motor control and medical systems. According to SiLabs, the family is suitable for systems powered from 220Vac mains supplies, including isolated ac/dc and dc/dc power supplies, solar panel microinverters, data communications systems and hybrid electric vehicles. The range is based on SiLabs' patented digital isolation technology and includes the 'industry's first' six channel isolators rated to 5kV, bidirectional isolators suitable for isolating I2C buses and 3.75kV options that are said to provide higher levels of protection than currently available from 2.5kV isolators. SiLabs describes the isolation channel count as 'unmatched' and says the range can provide 'significant' electromagnetic emissions and immunity performance advantages, providing error free data in noisy environments and up to 20dB lower electromagnetic emissions than similar solutions on the market. The company states that it offers the highest electric field immunity and delivers the fastest data rate (150Mb/s) across the widest temperature range (-40 to 125°C), as well as ultra low power operation of less than 1.6mA per channel at 1Mb/s. "The new Si86xx family brings the superior emi performance, high data rates and reliability of Silicon Labs' digital isolator technology to demanding applications requiring isolation ratings up to 5 kV and system cost reduction based on higher channel count density," said Mark Thompson, vice president of Embedded Mixed Signal products at Silicon Labs. "The Si86xx isolators enable developers to upgrade their optocoupler based designs with a more reliable, highly integrated and higher performance digital isolation solution." Samples and production quantities of the Si86xx digital isolators are available now.