loneoceans labs | IGBT Brick Driver (temporary placeholder page)

IGBT BrickDriver V1.0  -  (Sold Out)


The brick-driver v1.0 mounted on an IGBT module


BrickDriver is a straightforward no-frills Discrete Opto-isolated Gate Driver designed to drive large IGBT modules, affectionately known as 'Bricks' due to their large size and shape. It takes in a 5V logic input and drives the largest IGBT modules via a +15 and -8V gate driver with active miller clamp and desaturation detection and isolated fault sensing.

It is compact and has a very versatile foot-print and mounts directly to many single-switch IGBT modules such as the single-switch Powerex and Mitsubishi CM300/400/450/600 modules directly. I designed this board specifically for driving large IGBTs a while back, specifically for a large 160A buck converter in my QCW 1.5 Tesla Coil, but it has since been used in many other instances where a discrete isolate and robust gate driver is required. Due to popular demand, I am now offering these for sale.

What does this board do?

This board is a single-board gate drive solution implementing a high-current driver (via buffering FETs / BJTs) via industry standard opto-isolated gate drivers, specifically the Avago HCPL-316J and the Fairchild FOD 8316 2.5A driver ICs which are identical pin-compatible drivers. The board buffers the output with large TO 220 FETs of your choice for >15A gate drive capability and is robust enough to drive even the largest 1000A IGBTs (or MOSFETs). The board also includes an on-board split-rail power supply offering +15 and -8V gate drive, as well as desaturation detection, configurable Rg_on and Rg_off resistors and gate TVS. The result is a convenient gate driver board suitable for a wide range general-purpose uses and has been one of the most useful boards I've made.


The BrickDriver features the following functions:



Latest revision

Version 1.0, as of Nov 2014.

For usage instructions, please see: HCPL-316J-000E or FOD8318 Opto-isolated Gate Driver datasheets.


These boards are currently being offered for sale as a bare PCB board. Operation should be very straightforward and covered comprehensively in the Avago or Fairchild datasheets linked below.

The listed prices are for a single blank board measuring about 7.5 x 5cm in size. Board design pictured above.

If the boards are sold out, please check this page periodically. I'll be updating this page if there is more in stock. This board was designed as a personal project and may not work with your set-up. Please note this board was designed solely as a personal hobby board, and interfaces with potentially deadly mains / line voltages and high power circuits! I make no claims that the board satisfies any UL, CE or any electrical standards. You will bear all responsibility for using this board correctly and safely in your project with good engineering practices. Note that I will NOT be able to provide technical support, other than questions about the physical board itself. For usage instructions, please refer to the datasheets of the specific drive ICs you use.

Shipping and handling is from the USA to anywhere around the world starting at $3.50 for USPS regular mail and starting at ~$12 for international orders. All prices are in USD.

Contact loneoceans [at] g mail [dot] com for enquiries.

Bill of Materials

Bill of materials including schematics to aid in board assembly are as follows.


Schematic for the BrickDriver v1.0 is available above.

Bill of Materials

The parts list for the BrickDriver is as follows and should be avaliable on popular sites like Farnell, RS, Mouser or Digikey.

Additional parts:

  1. Ring Terminal - 8-320571-1 TE Connectivity - for connection to IGBT Collector - x 1
  2. 20VAC Transformer - Choose to fit your needs, around 20VA is fine - x 1
  3. Headers - 2 x 2pin + 1 x 3pin Molex Headers (22-23-2021 and 22-23-2031)

The board has been designed to be easy to put together by hand.

Board Verification

First, plug in 20VAC into the power input (this needs to be isolated, i.e. from a regular iron transformer). LED1 should light up. Connect the 5V power (remember this needs to be isolated from the gate drive rail) from an external source (typically the micro-controller or similar) to the board. Scope the outputs of the gate drive with a scope probe connected such that the ground is to the 'Emitter' and the probe is to the 'Gate'. Note that desaturation detection turns the driver into a fault state when V_desat - V_emitter > 7V (where the driver then executes a 'soft' turn off and holds the driver LOW). Hence for testing, connect the Collector terminal to the Emitter for now. Alternatively, connect this to an actual IGBT making sure the Collector is also connected.

When a logic HIGH is applied to Vin+, the Gate voltage should be +15V. When a logic LOW is applied to Vin+, the gate voltage should be -8V. If this is seen, the driver is working. The gate resistors can be adjusted to suit your needs for your desired turn ON and turn OFF speeds.


For more enquires, please contact me at loneoceans [at] gmail [dot] com.

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