5 kV digital isolators replace traditional optocouplers in harsh application environments

Silicon Laboratories introduced a line of 5 kV digital isolators designed to replace traditional optocouplers in harsh application environments and systems powered from universal mains supplies. The Si84xx digital isolators provide a smaller, faster and more reliable isolation solution than optocouplers without the wear-out mechanisms, ageing effects or temperature dependencies that plague optocoupler-based designs.

They also offer best-in-class electromagnetic immunity among digital isolation solutions. The chips offer 2x better jitter performance than competing devices, says the manufacturer, minimizing data transmission errors and bit-error-rates (BERs). The parts withstand 4 kV human body model (HBM) ESD, or 2 kV charged device model (CDM) and 400 V machine model (MM).

The Si84xx isolators support a data rate of 150 Mbps across a wide temperature range of -40 to +125°C, making them suitable to replace optocouplers in a wide variety of industrial applications.
The 5 kV Si84xx digital isolators target industrial automation and drives, motor control and medical device applications that require robust operation and high levels of protection.

The Si84xx digital isolators are also suitable for systems powered from 220 V mains supplies such as isolated ac-dc and dc-dc power supplies, solar power inverters, lighting systems, data communications, and test and measurement equipment.

The devices are a significant upgrade over competing digital isolator solutions in demanding industrial applications, delivering immunity against electric fields up to 300 V/m and magnetic fields up to 1000 A/m.
In addition to offering new 5 kV devices, the Si84xx family includes 2-channel options with industry-standard pin-outs that are compatible with other widely used digital isolator products, enabling easy drop-in replacement and dual sourcing for critical power system applications.

The Si84xx digital isolators also can be combined with Silicon Labs' Si82xx ISOdrivers, Si85xx AC current sensors, Si3226 Dual ProSLIC single-chip SLIC/codec IC and mixed-signal MCUs to provide comprehensive isolation solutions. The digital isolators ship in a SOIC-16 package.

To accelerate application development, Silicon Labs offers the Si84xxISO-KIT evaluation kit to support basic functional testing and engineering validation of 5 kV isolation products. The Si84xxCOM-RD communications reference design showcases isolated RS-232, RS-485, CAN and USB interfaces with 2.5 and 5 kV isolators.

Pricing: 10,000-unit quantities for 5 kV Si84xx devices in wide-body SOIC-16 packages begins at $0.86 (USD).
Availability: Samples and production quantities are available now.

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