Continental’s drive division Vitesco Technologies has selected Rohm Semiconductor as its preferred partner for silicon carbide power semiconductors. Vitesco Technologies will use Rohm’s SiC technologies to increase the efficiency of its power electronics for electric vehicles.
Vitesco has announced that a development partnership has also been agreed upon, starting in June 2020. Neither company has yet revealed the financial scope of the cooperation for the joint development and subsequent purchase of Rohm semiconductors.
Vitesco is already developing and testing SiC technology in an 800-volt inverter concept. Within the cooperation, both partners now want to jointly create “the best combination of SiC technology for large-scale production and the optimal adaptation of the inverter design for highest efficiency”.
“The SiC option is a very promising future part of our modular power electronics system comprising of software, power output stage, and switching strategy”, says Dr. Gerd Rösel, head of Innovation in the Electrification Technology business unit at Vitesco Technologies. “We will work with ROHM on an 800-volt SiC inverter solution as well as on a 400-volt SiC inverter solution.”
“Energy efficiency is of paramount importance in an electric vehicle,” says Thomas Stierle, head of the Electrification Technology business unit at Vitesco Technologies. “As the traction battery is the only source of energy in the vehicle, any losses caused by power conversion need to be minimised”. Kazuhide Ino, Director of the Power Device Business Unit at Rohm, adds: “We are the leading company in SiC power semiconductors and have achieved a significant technological lead in this field along with the provision of power solutions combined with gate driver ICs”.
Vitesco has indicated that production of SiC converters will start in 2025, as demand is expected to increase significantly from that date. A location for production has not yet been named. However, a large part of the development will take place in the German state of Bavaria: Vitesco headquarters are located in Regensburg, and both partners have plants in Nuremberg – in the case of Rohm this is through SiCrystal GmbH.
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