Power Semiconductors Weekly+ Vol. 02

Space-Saving Schottky Rectifiers from Diodes Incorporated Set New Benchmarks in Current Density

Diodes Incorporated (Diodes) has announced the introduction of a series of high-current Schottky rectifiers in ultra-compact chip scale packages (CSPs). The DIODES™ SDM5U45EP3 (5A, 45V), DIODES™ SDM4A40EP3 (4A, 40V), and DIODES™ SDT4U40EP3 (4A, 40V) achieve the industry’s highest current densities in their class, addressing market demands for smaller and more powerful electronic systems.

Each device can be employed for a variety of different purposes, serving as blocking or reverse-polarity protection diodes, electrical over-stress protection diodes, and free-wheeling diodes. The rectifiers in this series are designed for use in space-constrained applications – such as portable, mobile, and wearable devices, as well as IoT hardware.

Leading the trio, the SDT4U40EP3 is the industry’s smallest 4A trench Schottky rectifier, being the first ever in a 1608 package. It takes 90% less PCB area than competing devices. Its 800A/cm2 current density, also the highest for a trench Schottky in the industry, is due to its patent-pending innovative cathode design and manufacturing processes. The resulting ultra-low forward voltage performance (0.47V typical) minimizes power losses, enabling the design of higher efficiency systems. Furthermore, its superior avalanche capability makes it robust enough to deal with extreme operating conditions, including transient voltages.

The X3-TSN1616-2 packaged SDM5U45EP3 has a 2mm2 footprint, while the 1.28mm2 footprint of the X3-TSN1608-2 packaged SDM4A40EP3 and SDT4U40EP3 enable system designers to maximize board real estate in modern, highly integrated consumer products. These ultra-thin CSPs, with their 0.25mm (typical) profiles, have shortened thermal paths – resulting in greater power dissipation, reducing thermal BOM costs and increasing reliability.

Original – Diodes Incorporated

Nexperia Widens Its Offering of Discrete Components in Miniature DFN Packaging with Side-Wettable Flanks

Nexperia, the expert in essential semiconductors, announced its latest product additions to a growing range of discrete devices which it provides in leadless DFN packages with side-wettable flanks (SWF). These space-saving and rugged components help satisfy the needs of next generation applications in smart and electric vehicles. The AEC-Q101 range of devices available cuts across all Nexperia’s product groups and includes:

  • BC817QBH-Q and BC807QBH-Q series 45 V, 500 mA NPN/PNP general-purpose transistors in DFN1110D-3.
  • BAT32LS-Q and BAT42LS-Q general purpose Schottky diode in DFN1006BD-2
  • BAS21LS-Q high-speed switching diode in DFN1006BD-2 package.
  • PDTA143/114/124/144EQB-Q series 50 V 100 mA PNP Resistor-Equipped Transistor (RET) family in DFN1110D-3 package.
  • 2N7002KQB – 60 V N-channel Trench MOSFET and BSS84AKQB – 50 V, P-channel Trench MOSFET in DFN1110D-3 package.

Leadless DFN packages are up to 90% smaller than SOT23 packages and this helps to reduce the amount of board space required for the rapidly increasing number of electronic components being used in the latest vehicles. The side-wettable flank feature offers very reliable automated optical inspection (AOI) of solder joint quality. Nexperia’s DFN packages deliver excellent thermal performance with high Ptot and are also the most rugged in the industry passing extended lifetime and reliability tests.

“Nexperia pioneered side-wettable DFN and now offers the widest range of AEC-Q101 qualified discrete components in these miniature leadless packages”, states Mark Roeloffzen, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Nexperia’s Bipolar Discretes Business Group. “More than 460 different high-volume devices are available in the recently released DFN1412D-3, DFN1110D-3, and DFN1006BD-2 packages. By offering even more devices in these miniature packages, Nexperia provides design engineers with greater opportunities to make their designs future-proof, having an impact on the mobility of the future. The new technology has already seen success with design-in and commitment from major Tier 1 automotive suppliers”.

Original – Nexperia

Magnachip Introduces a new 40V MOSFET to Control BLDC Motors for Automotive Applications

Magnachip Semiconductor Corporation (“Magnachip”) announced that the company has released a new 40V Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor (MOSFET) to control Brushless Direct Current (BLDC) motors for automotive applications.

Given concerns about global climate change and corresponding efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the Electric Vehicle (EV) market is projected to grow significantly. Omdia, a global market research firm estimates that the global EV market is expected to grow 27% annually between 2022 and 2025. As such, demand for high-efficiency and durable BLDC motors for EVs will increase and Medium Voltage (MV) MOSFETs are essential for BLDC motors to operate efficiently. Magnachip has developed a new 40V MOSFET featuring low RDS(on) to reduce the conduction loss of automotive BLDC motors and the company began mass production of this new MOSFET in April 2022.

As reliable automotive semiconductors are critical to vehicle safety, the new 40V MOSFET is fully AEC-Q101 (Automotive Electronics Council-Q101) certified. The first application of this new product is for the Electric Water Pump of a new EV model from a global auto manufacturer. This MOSFET is also suitable for a variety of BLDC applications, such as electric oil pumps, engine cooling fans, electric power steering and battery cooling fans.

Magnachip continues to expand its market share in the automotive semiconductor sector with new products and advanced technology. Further, Magnachip is becoming a stable supplier of power semiconductor products as an integrated device manufacturer amid global supply chain disruptions affecting the automotive semiconductor industry, which is forecast to last through 2023.

“The market for both electric and internal combustion engines in the automotive sector is more competitive than ever and the demand for high-performance MV MOSFETs is increasing rapidly,” said YJ Kim, CEO of Magnachip. “Accordingly, we are strengthening our presence in global markets and believe the release of this new 40V MOSFET will help us to secure greater market share.”

Original – Magnachip Semiconductor

Lucid Motors Integrates Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide Semiconductors into the Award-Winning Lucid Air

Wolfspeed, the global leader in Silicon Carbide technology, announced that Lucid Motors deploys its Silicon Carbide power device solutions in the automaker’s high-performance, pure-electric car – the Lucid Air. Wolfspeed and Lucid have a multiyear agreement for Wolfspeed to produce and supply Silicon Carbide devices.

“Lucid’s proprietary powertrain technology – engineered and produced in-house – is at the core of what makes Lucid Air the most advanced and most efficient luxury electric vehicle in the world,” said Eric Bach, Senior Vice President of Product and Chief Engineer at Lucid. “With the perfect blend of high performance and high efficiency, Wolfspeed’s innovative Silicon Carbide MOSFET power semiconductors are an ideal fit for Lucid’s advanced technology.”

The award-winning Lucid Air will be supplied by Wolfspeed’s advanced, Silicon Carbide semiconductors from its state-of-the-art Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, NY. Set to open April 25, the facility will be the world’s largest 200-millimeter Silicon Carbide fabrication facility and dramatically expand production capacity for Wolfspeed’s power devices. This partnership gives Lucid access to increased capacity to better support their long-term automotive production.

“Lucid Motors is an emerging leader in not only electric vehicles, but the entire automotive industry,” said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Wolfspeed. “As the world advances towards an all-electric future for transportation, Silicon Carbide technology is at the forefront of the industry’s transition to EVs, enabling superior performance, range and charge time. Our investment in the Mohawk Valley Fab ensures our customers, including Lucid, have access to the advanced products they need to deliver innovative solutions to the market.”

Lucid Air’s inverters feature Wolfspeed’s XM3 Silicon Carbide power modules. With low switching losses, minimal resistance, and high power density, the XM3 power modules contribute to the efficiency and power density of Lucid’s 163-lb, 670-hp (74kg 500kW) electric motor.

Original – Wolfspeed

DOE Announces 15 Universities Selected for EcoCAR Electric Vehicle Challenge

The U.S. Department of Energy, in coordination with General Motors (GM) and MathWorks, today announced the launch of the EcoCAR Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge, a collegiate research and experimental learning competition that challenges hundreds of students to engineer novel technologies for battery electric vehicles through a combined $6 million investment. GM will provide student teams across 15 academic institutions — including five Minority Serving Institutions — with a Cadillac LYRIQ, the brand’s first all-electric vehicle, to develop and demonstrate technology that utilizes automation and vehicle-to-everything connectivity. Along with empowering the next generation of clean energy innovators, the EcoCAR Challenge will support President Biden’s goals to electrify the American automobile sector to achieve greater affordability, reliability and security for all. 

“These budding energy leaders are heeding President Biden’s call to get more Americans into EVs,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Collegiate competitions like EcoCAR are critical to building a clean energy talent pipeline that reflects the diversity of America and make room for more domestic manufacturing to strengthen our energy independence.”

Selected teams will demonstrate the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies, which allow for semi-autonomous vehicles and advanced propulsion systems to improve energy efficiency. This technology can improve safety along roadways while supporting emissions reductions within the transportation sector. The teams will also use a combination of on-board sensors and bidirectional vehicle-to-everything connectivity to enable the export of electricity from electric vehicle batteries to other loads like recreational uses, homes, or supporting the electrical grid.

The EcoCAR EV Challenge prioritizes equity in mobility and inclusion in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to unlock the benefits of clean transportation for all. Teams from the following universities have been selected to begin the competition this fall:

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL) / Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)
  • McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
  • Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS)
  • Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) / Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, OH)
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
  • University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA)
  • University of California, Davis (Davis, CA)
  • University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX)
  • University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

The challenge will span four years and after each year, teams will be evaluated on their vehicle design and process. Each year, winning teams will be awarded prize money from EcoCAR sponsors to further support their program. The EcoCAR EV Challenge, managed by DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, builds on a 34-year history of DOE Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions that have embodied the heart of American automotive ingenuity. More than 27,000 students from 93 unique educational institutions have participated to date, seeding the industry with engineers who have helped redefine the automobile over the last three decades.

Original – DOE

Helmut Gassel Resigns as Chief Marketing Officer of Infineon Effective 31 May 2022, Supervisory Board Appoints Andreas Urschitz as Successor

Helmut Gassel, member of the Management Board and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Infineon Technologies AG (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY), will resign from his position at his own request effective 31 May 2022 and will leave the company. The Infineon Supervisory Board agreed to this request with great regret. Andreas Urschitz, currently President of the Power & Sensor Systems (PSS) Division, has been appointed as his successor. Adam White, currently CMO of the PSS Division, is the designated President of the Division.

“We very much regret Dr. Gassel’s decision, but of course we also respect it. He has made a significant contribution to Infineon’s excellent positioning in key growth markets and in the fundamental trends of decarbonization and digitalization. Furthermore, he successfully steered the largest acquisition in the company’s history, namely Cypress Semiconductor,” said Dr. Wolfgang Eder, Chairman of Infineon’s Supervisory Board. “We are very grateful to Dr. Gassel for his many valuable contributions to Infineon’s profitable growth path during his 27 years with the company and especially since 2016 as a member of the Management Board. We welcome his very constructive support for the transition to Andreas Urschitz.”

“As a longtime companion, Helmut Gassel has played a decisive role in Infineon’s great success. As CMO, he has driven forward the digitalization of marketing and sales and thus the alignment with the future. I view with great respect the fact that he wants to make a personal change and therefore leave Infineon. I welcome the Supervisory Board’s decision in favor of Andreas Urschitz as the future CMO. He has achieved great success as Division President and has demonstrated a keen sense of market developments and our customers’ needs,” said CEO Jochen Hanebeck.

“For me, change and new challenges have always been a strong motivation. After the many successful years at Infineon, I would therefore now like to turn to new tasks. Together we have achieved a lot with the company. It was particularly important to me to place our customers even more at the center of our thoughts and actions. I am delighted that Andreas Urschitz has been appointed as my successor, one who is passionately committed to customers’ success,” said Helmut Gassel, Member of the Management Board and CMO.

“Together with our customers, Infineon employees are driving the decarbonization and digitalization of everyday life. I am very much looking forward to helping shape the path to a livable future now as part of the Management Board team,” said Andreas Urschitz, President of the PSS Division and designated CMO of Infineon.

Dr. Helmut Gassel has been a member of the Management Board of Infineon Technologies AG and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) since 2016. His responsibilities include Marketing and Sales as well as Regions, Strategy Development, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Intellectual Property.

Previously, he headed the Industrial Power Control and Chip Card & Security Divisions as well as global marketing for automotive power semiconductors in Detroit, Michigan. He studied physics at the Ruhr University in Bochum and earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Duisburg. In 1995, he began his career at Infineon (until 1999 Siemens AG) as a project manager in development for power components.

Andreas Urschitz has been President of the Power & Sensor Systems (PSS) Division since 2012, which serves the market with a wide range of power semiconductor, radio frequency and sensor technologies. Prior to the role as head of the PSS Division, Mr. Urschitz held various management positions in production, marketing, development and sales. Mr. Urschitz began his career at Infineon (until 1999 Siemens AG) in Villach, Austria, after studying business economics and subsequently teaching at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Original – Infineon

Ultra-Low On-Resistance Rad Hard 200 V Transistor Now Available for Demanding Space Applications from EPC

EPC announces the introduction of the EPC7007 radiation-hardened GaN FET. The EPC7007, a 200 V, 25 mΩ, 80 APulsed, rad-hard GaN FET in a small 5.76 mm2 footprint. The EPC7007 has a total dose rating greater than 1 Mrad and SEE immunity for LET of 85 MeV/(mg/cm2). These devices are offered in a chip-scale package, the same as the commercial eGaN FET and IC family.  Packaged versions will be available from EPC Space.

Compared to rad-hard silicon devices with similar RDSon, the EPC7007 offers 40 times smaller QG and QGD, zero reverse recovery (QRR). and the size is 40 times smaller. With higher breakdown strength, lower gate charge, lower switching losses, better thermal conductivity, and very low on-resistance, power devices based on GaN significantly outperform silicon-based devices and enable higher switching frequencies resulting in higher power densities, higher efficiencies, and more compact and lighter weight circuitry for critical spaceborne missions. GaN devices also support higher total radiation levels and SEE LET levels than silicon solutions.

Applications benefiting from the performance and fast deployment of the EPC7007 include DC-DC power, motor drives, lidar, deep probes, and ion thrusters for space applications, satellites, and avionics.

“EPC’s GaN technology enables a new generation of power conversion and motor drives in space operating at higher frequencies, higher efficiencies, and greater power densities than ever achievable before”. “The EPC7007 offers designers a solution with a figure of merit that is 50 times better than best-in-class silicon rad hard devices,” said Alex Lidow, CEO, and co-founder of EPC. “The EPC7007 extends the voltage range of our rad hard family to 200 V and provides designers with a solution that is significantly smaller and lower cost than silicon.

Original – EPC

BorgWarner to Provide eMotors for Leading EV Brand in China

BorgWarner, a global leader in delivering innovative and sustainable mobility solutions for the vehicle market, has been selected to provide high-voltage hairpin (HVH) eMotors for a leading electric vehicle brand in China. The eMotors will be used in the company’s second-generation 800V propulsion system platform. The vehicle model equipped with this platform is expected to start mass production in October 2023.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with this Chinese leader in EVs, working together to succeed in the Battery Electric Vehicle sector,” said Dr. Stefan Demmerle, President and General Manager, BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems. “BorgWarner’s eMotors feature premium reliability, higher efficiency as well as superior power and torque density, and exemplify our extensive experience in e-mobility applications.”

The 800V oil-cooled eMotors from BorgWarner are available as either motor assemblies or stator and rotor subassemblies. They incorporate built-in, permanent magnet rotor and proprietary stator insulation enhancement technologies, providing premium durability and reliability. They deliver peak efficiency of over 96% and feature patented HVH stator winding technology. In addition, the motor operates with energy efficiency and environmental friendliness with excellent noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance, and up to 4% higher power and torque density compared to other products of its breed. During vehicle braking and downhill, the motor can also convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and charge the battery through the inverter.

BorgWarner has extensive expertise and an esteemed reputation in the eMotor production industry, boosted by the recent acquisition of Santroll Automotive Components, a carve-out of Santroll’s light vehicle eMotor business. The acquisition is expected to further strengthen BorgWarner’s vertical integration, scale and portfolio breadth in light vehicle e-motors while allowing for increased speed to market.

Original – BorgWarner

STMicroelectronics and MACOM RF Gallium-Nitride-on-Silicon Prototypes Achieve Technology and Performance Milestones

STMicroelectronics (“ST”), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc. (“MACOM”), a leading supplier of semiconductor products for the Telecommunications, Industrial and Defense and Datacenter industries, have announced the successful production of radio-frequency Gallium-Nitride-on Silicon (RF GaN-on-Si) prototypes. With this achievement, ST and MACOM will continue to work together and enhance our relationship.

RF GaN-on-Silicon offers high potential for 5G and 6G infrastructure. The long-term incumbent RF power technology, laterally-diffused metal-oxide semiconductor (LDMOS), dominated early-generation RF power amplifiers (PAs). GaN can offer superior RF characteristics and significantly higher output power than LDMOS for these RF PAs. Further, it can be manufactured on either silicon or silicon-carbide (SiC) wafers. RF GaN-on-SiC can be more expensive because of the competition for SiC wafers from high-power applications and because of its non-mainstream semiconductor processing. On the other hand, the GaN-on-Si technology under development by ST and MACOM is expected to offer competitive performance paired with large economies of scale, enabled by its integration into standard semiconductor process flows.

Prototype wafers and devices manufactured by ST have achieved cost and performance targets that would allow them to effectively compete with the incumbent LDMOS and GaN-on-SiC technologies on the market. These prototypes are now moving to the next big milestones – qualification and industrialization. ST is on target to hit these milestones in 2022. With this progress, ST and MACOM have begun discussions to further expand their efforts to accelerate delivery of advanced RF GaN-on-Si products to the market.

“We believe that the technology has now reached performance levels and process maturity where it can effectively challenge the established LDMOS and GaN-on-SiC and we can offer attractive cost and supply-chain advantages for high-volume applications, including Wireless Infrastructure,” said Edoardo Merli, Power Transistor Sub-Group General Manager and Executive Vice President of STMicroelectronics. “Commercializing RF GaN-on-Silicon products are the next big milestone in our collaboration with MACOM and with continued progress, we look forward to fully realizing the potential of this exciting technology.”

“Together, we continue to make good progress in moving the GaN-on-Si technology towards commercialization and high-volume production,” said Stephen G. Daly, MACOM President and CEO. “Our collaboration with ST is an important part of our RF Power strategy and I am confident that we can win market share in targeted applications where the GaN-on-Silicon technology meets the technical requirements.”

Original – STMicroelectronics

NIO Selects High-Efficiency Silicon Carbide Traction Power Modules from onsemi

onsemi, a leader in intelligent power and sensing technologies, announced that global automotive innovator NIO Inc. chose the latest VE-Trac™ Direct SiC power modules from onsemi for its next-generation electric vehicles (EVs). The silicon carbide (SiC)-based power modules enable longer range, higher efficiency and faster acceleration for EVs. The collaboration of the two companies is expediting the commercialization of SiC technologies to bring EVs equipped with advanced semiconductor material to the market.

At the heart of an EV, the main traction inverter converts battery energy into large amounts of torque and acceleration. The VE-Trac Direct SiC is an integrated single side direct cooling (SSDC) power module in a six-pack configuration with a low turn on resistance of 1.7 mohm. This platform implements the second generation SiC MOSFET technology from onsemi to achieve new levels of performance, efficiency, and quality while sharing a compatible package footprint with its IGBT predecessor. An integrated pin fin baseplate enables direct liquid cooling and easy assembly which allows maximum power output and more efficient thermal dissipation.

“From all the solutions we considered, the VE-Trac Direct SiC traction power modules offered the best efficiency during testing, allowing us to extend our New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) range by 4% compared to the current silicon solution,” said Alan S. Zeng, senior vice president at NIO. “onsemi convinced us with the high performance and reliability of its products as well as the excellent support from its engineering and management team. We look forward to collaborating with onsemi on bringing more innovative EVs to market for generations to come.”

The VE-Trac offerings, including previously introduced VE-Trac Dual and VE-Trac Direct platforms, are available in silicon-based IGBT and in SiC with various voltages, and for traction inverter power ranging from 100 to 250 kW. With its standardized mechanical footprints and expanded power ratings, the VE-Trac product family is designed to effortlessly scale EV power outputs, accelerating the adoption of hybrid and battery EVs (BEV).

“This design collaboration is the culmination of substantial efforts onsemi has put into developing the right technologies for emerging applications such as smart EVs,” said Simon Keeton, executive vice president and general manager of Power Solutions Group at onsemi. “onsemi is the only supplier of silicon carbide solutions with vertical integration capability including SiC boule growth, substrate, epitaxy, device fabrication, best-in-class integrated modules and discrete package solutions. We are rapidly expanding our SiC capacity and are uniquely positioned to address the growing EV market with supply assurance, performance, quality and tailored SiC end solutions.”

NIO is a pioneer in the premium smart EV market, thanks in part to its unique Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS), a breakthrough innovation in both technology and business model. The carmaker, who is leading the wave of smart EV and BEV adoptions in China, is gaining significant market share and aiming to change the way consumers use these vehicles and elevate their entire ownership experience.

Original – onsemi

Infineon Moves Austin Production Site to Renewable Power

Infineon Technologies, announced that it has switched the operation of its Austin, Texas semiconductor factory, also known as “Fab25,” to 100 percent renewable power. This represents a major milestone in the company’s goal to green power for all of its U.S. sites by the end of the 2022 calendar year. Infineon will use certified renewable power from Austin Energy that is sourced from local wind farms in Texas. Infineon was one of the first semiconductor companies to set a carbon neutrality goal for its global operations at the beginning of 2020. In 2021, the company switched its entire electricity consumption in Europe to green power.

“We are very pleased to announce the next step of converting our largest North American fab to green energy as part of our global effort to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030,” said Steve James, Vice President of Fab Operations, Infineon Americas. “By the end of this year, the entire power consumption of our U.S. production will originate from renewable energy. Infineon is strongly committed to climate protection by reducing its own footprint, and driving energy efficient technologies. As the market leader for power semiconductors, Infineon makes a significant contribution to energy efficiency across the entire energy chain.”

For over 40 years, Infineon has been working to better generate, transmit and use energy more efficiently. Through its comprehensive solution set, Infineon helps minimize energy losses, enable higher device and application performance, and use energy more responsibly. Today, the company contributes a 33-times ecological net benefit through its products, in other words 33 times more CO2 emissions can be saved through the use of Infineon solutions than were created during production.

Transitioning its global operations to 100 percent green energy is an important part of the global Infineon carbon-neutrality strategy.

Infineon’s Fab25 employs more than 1,000 people and plays a critical role in the global semiconductor supply chain, producing up to one billion semiconductor chips per year for major automotive, industrial, and communications companies throughout the world. These are produced using proprietary semiconductor technologies to create both high-speed NOR Flash memory products and custom microcontrollers. Next-generation products will continue to be developed using Infineon technologies at this facility well into the future.

Original – Infineon

Partnership Performs Field Trial of GaN in IDCs

GaN Systems, the global leader in Gallium Nitride power semiconductors, and Xuzhou GSR Semiconductor Co., Ltd. jointly announced the first industry field trial of Gallium Nitride (GaN) in the power infrastructure of an Internet Data Center (IDC), a key milestone toward the universal adoption of GaN in IDCs.

GaN Systems offers leading technology for higher power density with exceptional reliability, and can enable up to 20 % energy savings for a data center when compared to the use of legacy Silicon power semiconductors. These energy savings increase profit margins, lower energy consumption and reduce the data center carbon footprint. The field trial is a critical step toward global adoption of GaN in IDCs, as it confirms the magnitude of energy savings for positive environmental impact while meeting the rigid reliability requirements of data center operators. GaN Systems’ dedication to developing GaN power semiconductors with high power density, reliability and high quality has turned today’s crucial milestone into reality.

Industry insiders have high expectations and are paying close attention to progress in the adoption of GaN in data center power supply systems. According to experts from the China Institute of Communications (CIC), as an important part of the New Infrastructure, data centers will play a fundamental role in the upcoming digital economic transformation. According to estimates, in 2020, data center power consumption in China exceeded 200 billion kWh, or about 2 % of China’s total power consumption, accounting for a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.49 and a carbon dioxide emission of 135 million tons and a carbon intensity (CUE) of 0.82, which is about 1.14 % of the national carbon dioxide emissions.

The “14th Five Year Plan for Digital Economy Development” requires Chinese companies to comply with the principles of low-carbon and energy efficiency, to continuously promote green construction, accelerate energy-saving and improve the utilization of renewable energy in data centers. It is critical for data centers to improve energy efficiency as China aims to achieve carbon neutrality. Adoption of new technology for energy efficiency and carbon reduction in data centers will not only promote green development for data centers, but will also help China reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

“GaN semiconductor technology is a materials science breakthrough, and our company has dedicated years of effort to develop fast charging devices for electric vehicles, solar inverters and IDC Power Supplies around the world”, said Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems. “GaN Systems is thrilled to partner with GSR Semiconductors, and other leading customers, such as Great Wall, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to leverage our highly efficient and high reliability GaN semiconductors to support China’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.”

In spite of (or sometimes because of) the market distortion and uncertainty created by Covid, the power electronics industry is projected for continued growth.

Mr. Sonny WU, Chairman of GSR Semiconductors, further commented, “Up to 20 % energy saving for data centers is a disruptive technological innovation, thanks to the adoption of the latest GaN semiconductor technology. We expect more Chinese technology companies like Xuzhou GSR Semiconductor to build local supply chain for high end GaN chips for EV and IDC applications.”

The beta test was first launched in March at the High Performance Computing Centre of Physics Department at Northwest University (NWU-HPC). More data centers will be selected for trials going forward.

The power supplies for this trial were designed in Beijing and leverage technology from GaN Systems and GSR Semiconductor. The trial has received strong support from Shenzhen Frontier Lab, a unit of HG Semiconductors. Analysis indicates the energy efficiency of the new power supply at 50 % load up to 98 %, which is 4 % higher than that of the traditional Silicon-based power supplies. This alone can reduce the total energy consumption of the data center by 10 %. When combined with the power supply replacement of UPS power supply and cooling system in data centers, the energy reducing effect is expected to reach up to 20 %.

According to the recently released plan of the national computing power network, China has a layout of 8 national hub nodes and 10 large data center clusters. The usage of GaN power transistors for more energy-efficient PSU power modules can offer a technical foundation for the green and high-quality development of data centers, hence it supports China’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality.

Original – Power&Beyond

Vitesco Technologies Bags Major Order for Its New Electric Axle Drive

Supplier of modern drive technologies and electrification solutions Vitesco Technologies today secured a two billion euros contract to supply its new generation axle drive EMR4 (Electronics Motor Reducer) to Hyundai Motor Group.

The highly integrated 400 V/160 kW 3-in-1 unit will be used by the vehicle manufacturer in its global B/C-segment electric vehicle, a media release said.

“We are proud to contribute to Hyundai Motor Group’s upcoming electric vehicle platform with this highly attractive axle drive. This order once again confirms us in our strategy with the very early focus on electric mobility,” said Andreas Wolf, CEO, Vitesco Technologies

The EMR4 is built on the enabling groundwork, laid with EMR3. The new axle drive design supports a particularly high level of scalability, the company said. With the EMR4, complete vehicle platforms and also different vehicle segments can be equipped with just one drive system, it added.

“For our new electric axle drive, we have standardized the internal interfaces, while generating the greatest possible flexibility externally, so that we can offer customized and at the same time cost-optimized solutions,” added Thomas Stierle, Member, Executive Board and Head, Electrification Technology, Vitesco Technologies.

Original – News WWC

Technical Partnership between Peugeot Sport and Marelli Aimed at the 9X8 Hypercar Hybrid Powertrain System

Peugeot Sport has signed a multi-year partnership with Marelli, a leading global automotive supplier with a long-standing and extensive expertise in the field of motorsports and high-performance technologies. This crucial technological partnership is based on the development of the most efficient electric solution to match the extreme performance requirements of the hybrid powertrain system of the PEUGEOT 9X8 Hypercar, that will compete from 2022 in the World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Specifically, Marelli is providing the engineering and the supply of bespoke, high-performance electric motor and Silicon Carbide-based inverter, which are part of the front axle electric traction system. The focus of the development is to maximize the efficiency and the reliability of the system, while adapting the motor and inverter technology to make effective use of the weight and volume allocated by the team.

Marelli contribution is based on well-established know-how in the design, manufacture and deployment of high-performance hybrid and full electric systems and its knowledge in the field of Energy Recovery Systems and Full Electric Traction Systems, resulting from experiences and applications in the most important motorsport world championships, with a flow-down also to the road production technical environment, enabling passenger vehicle electrification.

The partnership marks a new chapter in the long history of collaborations between Marelli and Peugeot, both in motorsports and road production fields, including the supply of electronics and telemetry for the glorious Peugeot 905 and Peugeot 908 in endurance competitions. This new joint technological adventure aims again to bring on the evolution of powertrain and mobility towards smart electrification solutions.

Based on the partnership, Marelli will also get the exclusive status of “Peugeot Sport Official Partner”, which, on top of the technology partnership, also foresees collaboration and mutual benefits in sponsorship, branding and marketing fields. Recalling again the tradition of Peugeot 905, that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race and the World Sportscar Championship in the ‘90s, Marelli will be proudly present again with its logo on the livery of the PEUGEOT 9×8 Hypercar. The logo will also be featured on the drivers’ race overalls, on the teamwear, on official partner areas and other communication tools.

“We are delighted to welcome Marelli onboard the Peugeot 9X8 project.” Declare Olivier Janssonie. “We have been collaborating together with Marelli for many years and our teams share the same passion and dedication to excellence. This project is a fantastic opportunity to combine our skills and to design, test and race together on the track a new innovative and performant electrical motor that will drive the 9X8 to success”.

“We are excited for this new collaboration with Peugeot Sport” said Riccardo De Filippi, Head of Marelli Motorsport. “We already have a long and glorious tradition of collaboration with them in the history of endurance racing, and we both share a great heritage and technical tradition in motorsport competitions. Once more we put all our competences together to push the performance of such a unique and extreme car to the limit in a sustainable way, with the adoption of the most advanced Marelli electric powertrain technology.”

Original – Marelli

Nexperia Further Expands Its Offering of Clip-Bonded FlatPower Packaged Diodes with New Automotive CFP2-HP Devices

Nexperia, the expert in essential semiconductors, announced the release of 14 rectifiers for power applications in its new CFP2-HP (Clip-Bonded FlatPower) packaging. Available in standard and AEC-Q101 versions, these include 45 V, 60 V and 100 V Trench Schottky rectifiers (with 1 and 2 A options) including the PMEG100T20ELXD-Q, a 100 V, 2 A Trench Schottky barrier rectifier. For applications requiring hyperfast recovery Nexperia has also added the 200 V, 1 A PNE20010EXD-Q rectifier to the portfolio.

In modern car architectures the number of electronic control units (ECU) is gradually being reduced in favor of fewer high performing, feature-rich ECUs responsible for front axle, rear axle and body control. As a result, the component density of these units is dramatically increasing and in order to realize these higher density designs, manufacturers increasingly rely on modern multilayer PCBs. The vertical thermal design on these multilayer PCBs enables designers to save up to 75% of board space with CFP2-HP compared to using a device in a SMA package, while still maintaining the same level of electrical performance. This rugged package design enables longer operating times and better board level reliability, while the new lead shape improves automatic optical inspection (AOI). 

“With the switch to smaller packages like CFP being now well underway, Nexperia is aiming to be the driving force that further accelerates this transition” according to Frank Matschullat, Product Group Manager Power Bipolar Discretes at Nexperia. “Nexperia has invested heavily to expand its capacity to serve the growing demand for CFP-packaged products stays well ahead of market projections for the next three years. These diodes are the latest additions to over 240 CFP-packaged products which Nexperia currently offers.”

Today, CFP packaging is used by different power diode technologies such as Nexperia’s Schottky, silicon germanium and recovery rectifiers but can also be extended to bipolar transistors. It offers significant product diversity, covering single/dual configuration and currents between 1-20 A, simplifying board design.

Original – Nexperia

PowerDI8080-Packaged MOSFET from Diodes Incorporated Increases Power Density in Modern Automotive Applications

Diodes Incorporated (Diodes) has announced the PowerDI®8080-5, an innovative high current, thermally efficient power package that meets the needs of electric vehicle (EV) applications. The first product to be released in the PowerDI®8080-5 package is the DIODES™ DMTH4M70SPGWQ, a 40V automotive-compliant MOSFET that features a typical RDS(ON) of just 0.54mΩ at a gate drive of 10V, while its gate charge is 117nC. This industry-leading performance enables designers of automotive high-power BLDC motor drives, DC-DC converters, and charging systems to maximize system efficiency while ensuring power dissipation is kept to an absolute minimum.

The PowerDI®8080-5 package has a PCB footprint of 64mm2, which is 40% less than that occupied by the TO263 (D2PAK) package format. It also has an off-board profile of 1.7mm, which is 63% lower than that of a TO263. The copper clip bonding between the die and the terminals facilitates a low junction-to-case thermal resistance of 0.36°C/W. This enables the PowerDI®8080-5 to handle currents up to 460A and deliver a power density that is eight times greater than a TO263 package.

The DMTH4M70SPGWQ is AEC-Q101 qualified, PPAP capable, and manufactured in IATF 16949 certified facilities. Its gull wing leads facilitate optical inspection (AOI), as well as improving temperature cycling reliability. This device is available at $4.99 in 2000 piece quantities.

Original – Diodes Incorporated

Electric Vehicles Land, Sea, Air – Record Growth as Challenges Mount

Elon Musk once made a prediction that every form of transport, with the exception of space-faring rockets, will become electric. This prediction is starting to materialize as markets for electric cars, trucks, buses, boats, two-wheelers and air taxis reached new heights in 2021.

IDTechEx’s latest electric vehicle (EV) master report “Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea & Air 2022-2042” covers eight transport markets broken into over 90 forecast lines, including battery-electric, fuel cell, and hybrid vehicle unit sales, battery demand (GWh) and market revenues ($ billion).

Electric cars are the largest market today, with sales more than doubling in 2021 to over 6.4 million. IDTechEx predicts this will still be true in twenty years, with cars accounting for 79% of EV market revenues and 83% of battery demand. The reason why is a matter of scale – cars have long been the focus of government policy for their popularity and large contributions to road emissions. Around 81 million cars were sold globally in 2021 compared with 3.3 million medium and heavy trucks and 0.2 million city buses.

Despite record growth, the tragic war in Ukraine is creating new challenges for automotive and electric vehicle markets on top of two highly challenging and unpredictable years caused by the pandemic.

As economies have opened up after covid-19 restrictions, and sanctions against Russia have constrained oil and gas supply, electricity prices and gasoline prices have climbed. This brings electric vehicle markets to the forefront, but at a time when automakers grapple with a lingering chip shortage, new covid lockdowns in China, increased raw material prices, and shortages of auto parts produced in Ukraine, like wire harnesses.

Many electric vehicle makers have started to react, increasing prices or delaying and limiting production. The price increases are not trivial. In 2020, Tesla’s base Model 3 cost $39,990 – in 2022 it is $46,990. In March, Rivian announced it would increase the price of its models by up to $14,500 (R1T), before facing a customer and investor backlash. Beyond the start-ups, automotive giant VW announced it has effectively sold out of electric vehicles in the US and Europe for 2022.

The battery remains the largest cost component of the vehicle, and climbing costs of battery raw materials, particularly lithium and nickel, are a factor behind the increases. This is driven by shortages and new lockdowns in China as well as the Russia-Ukraine war – most of the world’s Lithium is processed in China, and Russia accounts for around a fifth of global class 1 nickel supplies. As shortages continue, and supplies of electric vehicle parts are eaten up by the automotive sector, this will have an impact on non-automotive sectors which use the same technologies.

An example is electric truck markets, which IDTechEx predicts will have the second-largest battery demand by 2042 (see “Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea & Air 2022-2042” to find out more). Tesla’s Semi, a battery-electric class 8 long-haul truck, was originally to be produced in 2020; the target is now 2023. The Semi requires new large-format 4680 cells, but limited battery production has been prioritized for high-in-demand cars which generate more profit per kWh. The delays have allowed OEMs like Volvo, Daimler, and PACCAR to catch up with Tesla, companies now primed to go into series production with new BEV truck models. Yet they might face similar problems.

Another example is electric leisure boats. Sales surged in 2020 and 2021, driven by customers spending more time away from the office. Often, automotive battery cells are used. For example, BMW has supplied Torqeedo, an electric outboard manufacturer, and Corvus Energy, a commercial marine battery pack supplier, predominantly uses automotive-grade NMC pouch cells. As shortages continue, the industry will have to look at new deals with new suppliers.

While non-automotive sectors demand fewer batteries, they still demand them. Improving the efficiency of the overall EV powertrain, rather than focusing on pure battery development, will be key – this means silicon carbide power electronics, more efficient motors, 800V platforms, solar bodywork, and less cabling.

What is clear to IDTechEx is that, despite the mounting challenges, demand for electric vehicles remains very strong from both consumers and governments. As the challenges mount, the transition continues.

Original – IDTechEx

Actron Gains from New Energy Vehicle Applications

Actron Technology’s shipments of ultra low loss diodes (ULLDs) for cars in the first quarter amounted to 70% of their 2021 level, reflecting the automotive industry’s swelling demand for energy-saving products, according to market sources.

Actron is the world’s largest supplier of automotive rectifier diodes, commanding a market share of 85%. In recent years, it has restructured its product portfolio in tandem with the automotive industry’s shift from fossil fuel cars to new energy vehicles (NEVs).

In addition to standard diodes, Actron has developed more energy-efficient ULLD and low loss diodes (LLDs). Its ULLD shipments in the first quarter of 2022 were equivalent to 70% of their shipments throughout 2021, the sources said.

Market analysts expect its ULLD shipments in 2022 would grow three- or four-fold from last year and that standard diodes, LLDs, and ULLDs would contribute 45%, 36%, and 6% respectively to its 2022 revenues. Actron is the world’s largest supplier of all three products although each product’s sales vary with carmakers’ energy-saving efforts.

The company has developed 48V MOSFET modules for hybrid electric vehicles, IGBT and SiC modules for battery electric vehicles. Market analysts said it has developed IGBT modules for supplying cars of 600-1,200V. While the IGBT sector is dominated by European, American, and Japanese suppliers, the component’s short apply has attracted more entrants into the sector.

Having shipped industrial SiC modules to Japanese clients in 2021, Actron will continue to work on automotive SiC authentication in 2022, the sources said.

For the company, the lockdowns in several Chinese cities created huge impacts in April. It expects the situations to improve from May with clients starting to pull in shipments.

The Chinese market used to represent about 40% of Actron’s revenues, but the proportion has lowered to 20% – similar to the shares of European, American, and South Korean markets in its revenues. The company supplies its 48V MOSFET modules to European contract manufacturers in South Korea. Market analysts expect its 48V MOSFET module shipments to grow sequentially thanks to the boom in automotive applications.

Actron is expected to hold its chairman election during its May 27 meeting of shareholders, the sources said.

Its current chairman Lu Ming-kuang may be replaced by vice chairman Tom Yao, the sources said. Actron has declined to comment on the upcoming election.

Actron is a subsidiary of Sino-American Silicon Products. Lu was the parent group’s chairman before he retired in 2020 and was replaced by incumbent chairwoman Doris Hsu.

Original – DigiTimes Asia

Nidec to Establish Semiconductor Solutions Center

The global semiconductor shortage, which evolved from the current unstable state of the world, the pandemic, and natural disasters, is expected to improve somewhat in 2022. Nonetheless, in the wake of the global increase in demand and the COVID-incurred effects to production among other reasons, the future of the environment surrounding the semiconductor industry is more uncertain than ever.

In line with this, Nidec Corp. will establish the Nidec Semiconductor Solutions Center, to be located inside the Nidec Research and Development Center in Kanagawa, Japan.

Nidec Semiconductor Solutions Center will build a strategic partnership with suppliers and a sustainable supply chain of semiconductors that is capable of responding to all risks, to secure a stable production and delivery of the company’s products. Further, by producing main semiconductors in-house, including their development and licensed manufacturing, Nidec will provide high-value-added intelligent motor solutions that contribute to the conservation of the global environment.

“A stable supply of semiconductors is truly critical to Nidec as we aim to achieve our sales target of 10 trillion yen. Going forward, we will meet our customers’ expectations by actively promoting a comprehensive strategy that covers the entire process of developing through stably supplying semiconductors,” said Shigenobu Nagamori, Founder, Representative Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As the world’s leading comprehensive motor manufacturer, Nidec will generate synergies by combining its existing motor business with Nidec Semiconductor Solutions Center’s solutions, to provide more efficient and safer products than before, contribute to the conservation of the global environment, and enhance our corporate value.”

“Semiconductors are the critical key to achieving the in-house production of components and materials. With a successful in-house production of semiconductors, we will be able to achieve the ‘super-vertical integration’ of the E-Axle business, a pillar for our company’s future growth. In addition, I am convinced that such integration will enable us to secure excellent quality, cost, delivery lead time, speed, service, and uniqueness, operate business sustainably, and lead our products to better contribute to social development. Thus, we will build a firm partnership with our customers who use our products,” said Jun Seki, Representative Director, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Ryuji Omura, Vice President and Deputy Chief Technology Officer, said, “I joined Nidec this past February based on the conviction that improving the level of the company’s motor business with semiconductors would be critical in the company’s pursuit of the 10-trillion-yen sales target. Now, after realizing the scale of the Nidec Group’s internal expectations on semiconductor solutions, I feel full of hope and a sense of mission with this new organization, which is the first step to promote the solutions under the spirit, ‘Do your job right away, without hesitation, and never give up until it is completed’ based on the ‘One Nidec’ initiative. Going forward, I will proactively advance this project with passion, enthusiasm, and tenacity, to build a global ecosystem with our customers, business partners, and suppliers.”

Original – EE Times Asia

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