VW places major order with onsemi
The US semiconductor manufacturer onsemi has entered into a strategic partnership with Volkswagen. At the heart of the collaboration is the supply of components for a complete traction inverter solution for use in a “next-generation VW electric platform”.
According to onsemi, the semiconductors are part of an overall system optimisation and provide a solution that will support the front and rear traction inverters in VW models. Under the agreement, onsemi will supply its EliteSiC 1200 V silicon carbide power module to VW as a first step, according to the statement. Although the number of units or the financial scope are not mentioned, the VW procurement for a new electric platform of the group will be a large order.
However, onsemi does not specify which Volkswagen vehicle platform is involved. An agreement for the upcoming SSP electric platform several years before its debut would be premature – especially since, according to the announcement, pre-production samples are already being evaluated. That and the statement that the SiC semiconductors are “part of an overall system optimisation” rather points to the PPE or the revised MEB+, both of which are expected to enter production well before the SSP.
All that has currently been confirmed is that teams from both companies have been working on optimising the power modules for more than a year, with pre-production samples under development and evaluation. The EliteSiC power modules are said to be pin-to-pin compatible “to easily scale the solution to different power levels and motor types”.
“The superior performance and quality of onsemi’s traction inverter modules together with our joint efforts to create the best system solution enable us to deliver the outstanding driving experience and quality customers expect from a VW group vehicle,” said Karsten Schnake, head of the COMPASS operational and strategic semiconductor taskforce at Volkswagen AG. “onsemi’s broad portfolio of intelligent power and sensing solutions further allows us to offer cutting-edge technologies and features in our EVs, from the traction inverter and beyond.”
Given the recent semiconductor shortage in the VW Group’s heat pumps, Schnake praises onsemi’s production facilities in the US, Asia and Europe. Onsemi already supplies VW with more than 500 different components – including IGBTs, MOSFETs, image sensors and power management integrated circuits (PMICs).
“Our broad manufacturing presence – including a robust end-to-end SiC supply chain – positions onsemi to meet OEM demand for supply assurance,” said Simon Keeton, executive vice president and general manager, Power Solutions Group at onsemi. “Our investment in ramping up production globally, particularly in silicon carbide, also enables us to support VW’s rapidly scaling EV production.”
Just this January, onsemi announced that it is the supplier for the SiC semiconductors in the Kia EV6 GT and will also supply the Hyundai Group for other high-performance EVs.