ZF & Cree to develop semiconductors for electric drives
ZF Friedrichshafen and Cree have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly develop silicon carbide semiconductors for power electronics for use in electric drives.
ZF has already received initial orders for electric drives using silicon carbide. A first important milestone of the partnership with Cree is the cooperation in these projects. By 2022, both companies intend to bring an electric driveline made of silicon carbide from ZF onto the market.
“We are delighted with the increased cooperation with Cree and are convinced that the combination of our strengths will further improve the efficiency and competitiveness of our components and systems,” says Jörg Grotendorst, Head of ZF’s E-Mobility Division. “The partnership with a leading global automotive supplier such as ZF for the use of silicon carbide-based inverters in next-generation electric vehicles shows that silicon carbide plays an important role in expanding the capabilities of electric vehicles,” says Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree.
The future use of silicon carbide-based power semiconductors is expected to increase the range of electric vehicles. In particular, the silicon carbide technology in combination with the 800-volt onboard power supply voltage makes a significant contribution to further increase efficiency.
Since January 2016, ZF has bundled its electric mobility activities in the E-Mobility division based in Schweinfurt. In total, more than 9,000 employees at various locations worldwide work in the ZF E-Mobility Division.
Cree’s Wolfspeed division, on the other hand, offers a range of silicon carbide and GaN (gallium nitride) power and RF (radio frequency) solutions. Recently, the company announced a significant increase in silicon carbide device production capacity.