Freescale, Fuji discover power electronics for electric driving

April 13, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Freescale Semiconductor has entered into a strategic alliance with Fuji Electric Co., Ltd., to collaborate on insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology and products for hybrid electric and electric vehicles (HEV and EV). With the move, Freescale eliminates a major shortcoming in its product portfolio.

Along with Fuji, Freescale intends to add high-power IGBT products to its portfolio of solutions for electronic powertrain applications, market those products to its automotive customers and define and produce new products based on customer input, the company said in a press release.

According to Freescale, IGBTs are currently the largest segment of the market for EV power systems. With the addition of IGBTs to its portfolio, Freescale will offer all of the major electronic components of EV systems, including microcontrollers, analog gate drivers, battery monitoring ICs, power IGBTs and modeling / simulation tools, and software components / tools for motor control development.

IGBTs are regarded a critical component in electronic powertrain controls. Hitherto, the lack of power components has been Freescale's major handicap in the competition with other leading automotive semiconductor vendors, in particular with Infineon. The collaboration with Fuji could help to close this gap in Freescale's product portfolio.

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