Nexperia has agreed to partner with Ricardo on the production of an EV inverter based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology.
It is hoped that use of GaN will lead to greater system efficiencies at lower costs with improved thermal performance and simpler switching topologies. This enables a greater range in electric vehicle applications.
GaN is expected to eventually replace SiC and silicon-based IGBTs as preferred technology for the traction inverters used in PHEVs and BEVs.
Michael LeGoff, general manager, GaN, Nexperia, said, “By designing our GaN devices into an inverter and trialling them through Ricardo, we will be able to better understand how a vehicle can be driven safely and reliably.”
“Semiconductor technology is key to the efficiency of the inverter system and the role that it plays in the performance and efficiency of an electrified vehicle,” added Adrian Greaney, director for technology and products, Ricardo. “By delivering significant benefits in terms of the switching speed and efficiency, gallium nitride is a real enabling technology.
“As well as leading to increased range, it allows us to reduce the package size and weight of the inverter, which provides greater powertrain design flexibility as well as contributing to vehicle mass reduction.”