Semiconductor manufacturer Nexperia has announced a new partnership with the automotive engineering consultants at Ricardo. The duo will join forces to produce a demonstrator of a new EV inverter based on Nexperia’s gallium nitride (GaN) technology, which has already gained the approval from the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC).
Nexperia announced a range of AEC-approved GaN devices last year, providing automotive designers with a growing portfolio of reliable devices using this high-efficiency technology, providing the power density required for electrification of the powertrain. GaN is the preferred switch for these applications as GaN FETs lead to systems with greater efficiencies at lower costs with improved thermal performance and simpler switching topologies. In automotive terms, this means that the vehicle has a greater range – the major concern for anyone looking to buy an EV. GaN is now on the brink of replacing silicon-based IGBTs and SiC as the preferred technology for the traction inverters used in plug-in hybrids or full battery electric cars.
“By designing our GaN devices into an inverter and trialing them through Ricardo, we’ll be able to better understand how a vehicle can be driven safely and reliably,” Michael LeGoff, General Manager GaN, Nexperia. “We’re developing a real solution that I think a lot of automotive designers will be interested in having a look at and will find extremely advantageous.”