Gate Drive Transformer

There are many types of transformers. What distinguishes a gate drive transformer from other types of transformers? Basically, it is application! Modern day electronic circuits utilize many gated semiconductor devices such as ordinary transistors, field effect transistors, and S.C.R.s and others. Gate drive transformers are used in some of these circuits. A signal must be supplied to ( or removed from ) the device’s gate node to activate ( or deactivate ) the device. When used, gate drive transformers are located within the circuitry driving the gate. Gate drive transformers are used to modify the voltage level to the gate, provide impedance matching, and to provide voltage isolation. Gate drive transformer may be used to deliver voltage to the grids or plates of a vacuum tube or flash tube.

Some gate drive transformers simply deliver a voltage pulse or a series of voltage pulses to a semiconductor gate. A gate drive transformer functioning in this manner could also be called a pulse transformer. Most circuit designers would consider these gate drive transformers to be a type of pulse transformer. If the gate drive transformer’s pulse initiates some action or event, the gate drive transformer could be called a trigger transformer. Some applications require a close reproduction of the pulse. The gate transformer designer will seek to minimize winding capacitance and leakage inductance because these parasitic components distort the signal. This website includes information about trigger transformers and pulse transformers. The latter includes information on the theory of operation. Click on the available links if you want to view them.

Some amplifying circuits use a gate drive transformer to deliver a signal to a semiconductor gate. Here the objective is to reproduce the signal, but with increased power and increased voltage or current. The gate transformer designer will seek to minimize winding capacitance and leakage inductance because these parasitic components distort the signal. In most amplifying circuits the signal is injected into a direct current biased transistor circuit, hence the gate transformer may have to tolerate a D.C. current bias. Even though these gate drive transformers drive a gate, circuit designers will usually refer to them as signal transformers.

Gate drive transformers exist in a variety of shapes and sizes. There is also a wide variety of core materials available for use with different applications. If you need more information please contact Butler Winding and ask for Engineering.

Butler Winding can make ( and has made ) gate drive transformers. There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes available. This includes; various standard types of “core with bobbin” structures ( E, EP, EFD, PQ, POT, U and others ), toroids, and some custom designs. Our upper limits are 40 pounds of weight and 2 kilowatts of power. We have experience with foil windings, litz wire windings, and perfect layering. For toroids, we can ( and have done ) sector winding, progressive winding, bank winding, and progressive bank winding. Butler winding has a variety of winding machines, bobbin/tube and toroid. That includes two programmable automated machines and a taping machine for toroids. Butler winding has vacuum chamber(s) for vacuum impregnation and can also encapsulate. To ensure quality, Butler Winding purchased two programmable automated testing machines. Most of our production is 100% tested on these machines.

If you need assistance with your design, please contact Butler Winding and ask for Engineering.