Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
A junction-isolated integrated circuit ( IC ) is a special type of semiconductor device that operates in hazardous locations. These devices are used in applications where it’s necessary to protect the electronic components from potentially damaging electrical voltages, electromagnetic fields or ionizing radiation.
A junction isolated IC adds another layer of protection by keeping the high voltage electrical signals separated from the sensitive low-voltage ones.
In this article, we explain what a junction isolated integrated circuit is, how it works and the benefits it offers in different applications.
Understanding the junction isolation technology
Junction isolation is based on the p-n junction isolation. This is where the high-voltage circuitry is isolated from the low-voltage circuitry by an insulating layer, or isolating barrier, between them. The junction is created by doping the semiconductor material with impurities.
The purpose of p-n junction isolation is to prevent the high-voltage circuitry from interfering with the low-voltage one. It also prevents leakage currents that could cause damage to the circuits.
There are three main types of junction isolation:
This type of junction isolation works by forward biasing a p-n junction . The p side of the junction is at a higher voltage than the n side. This causes current flow from p to n and keeps the two sides separate. This type of isolation isn’t very effective for high voltages and requires a large amount of power to maintain it. Also, there’s a risk that too much power will damage other devices in the circuit if it fails, causing an electrical hazard.
This type of junction isolation works by reverse biasing a p-n junction . The n side is at a higher voltage than the p side. This causes current flow from n to p and keeps the two sides separate. This type of isolation is more effective than forward biased but is still not very effective for high voltages and requires some power to keep it functioning properly. Also, like with forward biased isolation, there’s still the risk that too much power will damage other devices in the circuit if it fails.
Functions of Junction Isolated IC
There are two basic functions that the junction isolated IC performs.
First, it physically isolates the high voltage circuit from the low voltage circuit. This is essential because the high voltage circuit will damage or destroy the low voltage circuit if there’s a short circuit or an electrical arc.
Circuit isolation also provides electromagnetic interference (EMI) suppression. The junction isolated IC uses a diode bridge to prevent the high voltage circuit from emitting electromagnetic radiation that can interfere with other electronic equipment.
As a result, the device’s operation is unaffected by the environment because they’re not emitting electromagnetic interference.
How is junction isolated IC different from other integrated circuits?
All integrated circuits are designed to be used in hazardous locations, but some are more suitable than others.
A high voltage circuit without isolation will destroy a low voltage circuit, so all low voltage circuits must have isolation from high voltage circuits.
However, a junction isolated integrated circuit is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of a hazardous location, even in environments with extreme electromagnetic fields.
The high voltage side of the circuit is isolated from the low voltage side, so the surrounding electrical voltages don’t affect it.
The same can’t be said for standard ICs, which don’t have the same level of protection.
Benefits of a Junction Isolated IC
There are many advantages of operating with isolated integrated circuits. Here are some of the most important:
-The circuit can be made smaller by reducing the number of connections between components, which simplifies both assembly and testing.
-Isolation reduces noise, as it prevents high frequency interference from reaching other parts of the circuit. Also, it prevents electrical noise from reaching other circuits through cables or other connections outside of your control.
-By isolating different parts of your circuit, you can make sure that one part doesn’t affect another part if there’s an error in one section.
-Isolation prevents components from being damaged if there’s a malfunction in another part of the circuit.
-Isolated circuits are more efficient because they don’t waste power overcoming the resistance of long cables.
-Isolation protects against electrostatic discharge, which can damage or destroy your circuit if it builds up to a certain level.
Limitations of a Junction Isolated IC
The biggest drawback of a junction isolated IC is that it’s more complex than standard ICs. The added layers of protection are beneficial in certain situations, but they are also more difficult to implement.
Therefore, junction isolated ICs are more expensive than standard ICs and take longer to design. The complexity means that a junction isolated IC requires a greater number of external components and larger boards than a standard IC.
This makes them difficult to integrate, which is why they are usually used for standalone systems that don’t communicate with other devices.
Which devices have junction isolated IC?
Here are some of the devices that run on the junction isolated integrated circuits:
-Transformers: Here, the secondary side is isolated from the primary side by means of a p-n junction. The isolation is necessary to prevent the high voltage from reaching the low voltage side.
-Switches: These devices require isolation, especially if they’re used in safety circuits. The switches are isolated from the circuit to prevent it from being exposed to high voltages.
-Isolated power supplies: This type of power supply has an unregulated output which can be very harmful if accidentally connected to a load that doesn’t need such a high voltage. The insulation prevents this by isolating the load from the output of the supply and vice versa.
-Isolated DC/DC converters: These devices are used to convert a low voltage DC into a high voltage DC. This is necessary when the input voltage is too low for the load and needs to be boosted. The isolation prevents the load from being exposed to dangerous voltages that may result if there’s a malfunction in the converter or in its power supply.
Where are the junction ICs used? Applications
Junction isolated ICs are used in a wide range of different industrial applications. Some of these applications include: – Telecommunications – Broadcast systems – Aerospace – Manufacturing – Energy – Medical devices
Choosing a junction isolated IC supplier
Are you a manufacturer of electronic products? You should strive to buy from a reputable isolated IC supplier in China. This will ensure that you get a quality product that meets your specifications. It will also ensure that you get the best price.
We at ICRFQ are committed to delivering the best isolated junction IC for your application. We are a reputable supplier of isolated ICs, with a history of helping our customers to solve their isolation problems. If you are looking for a trusted supplier of isolated ICs, please get in touch with us today!
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