Vitesco picks Rohm for efficient e-drive technologies

Vitesco picks Rohm for efficient e-drive technologies

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Vitesco expects the use of efficient SiC semiconductors to increase the range of electric drives equipped with them. In addition, the vehicles can be operated with smaller and therefore cheaper batteries without the users having to fear a reduction in range. In this context, Vitesco has appointed Rohm as its “Preferred Partner” for the supply of these semiconductor components.

“Energy efficiency is of paramount importance in electric vehicles. Since the traction battery is the only energy source in the vehicle, all conversion losses must be minimized. Therefore, we are developing a SiC option as part of our modular power electronics system,” says Thomas Stierle, head of the Electrification Technology business unit at Vitesco Technologies. “To get the maximum efficiency out of the power electronics and e-machine, we will use SiC devices from our preferred partner”.

Vitesco is already developing and testing SiC technology in an 800V inverter concept to confirm the efficiency potential of this technology. This program focuses on the overall electronics and machine system to determine the best combination of device technology and switching strategy. SiC power semiconductors (e.g. SiC MOSFET for 800V battery systems) offer higher switching efficiency for this task (higher switching frequency, steeper switching edges) and cause less harmonic losses in the electrical machine than the commonly used silicon MOSFET transistors. In addition, SiC technology is considered indispensable for super-fast charging processes at 800V.

As part of the cooperation, Rohm and Vitesco Technologies will work together to create the best combination of SiC technology for high-volume production and the optimal adaptation of the inverter design for highest efficiency. The two partners plan to jointly develop an 800 V SiC inverter solution as well as a 400 V SiC inverter. The start of series production is scheduled to begin in 2025. From that time Vitesco also expects an increase in demand for electric drives for vehicles.

The partnership should also benefit from short distances: Vitesco Technologies and Rohm each have plants in Nuremberg (Rohm Semiconductor Group: SiCrystal GmbH), which in turn is not far from the Vitesco Technologies headquarters in Regensburg (both Germany).

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