New Articles
  June 19th, 2023 | Written by

ROHM Semiconductor and Vitesco Technologies Form Long-Term SiC Supply Partnership

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]

Partnership enables capacity assurance for energy-efficient silicon carbide power semiconductors

ROHM Semiconductor, an electronic parts manufacturer, and Vitesco Technologies, a leading international manufacturer of modern drive technologies and electrification solutions, today announced they have formed a long-term silicon carbide (SiC) supply partnership worth more than one billion U.S. dollars (2024 through 2030). The development partnership between the companies, which started in 2020, formed the basis for the supply partnership.

Vitesco Technologies’ advanced inverters with integrated ROHM SiC chips will be adopted by two customers, to be applied inside electric vehicle powertrains. Vitesco Technologies will start supplying a first series project as early as 2024, ahead of the originally targeted timeline.

SiC devices enable the design of particularly efficient power electronics, such as those needed for electric car inverters. SiC chips are a key technology, particularly for high voltages and for vehicles with demanding range targets and optimum overall efficiency. During the existing development partnership, with ROHM the relevant SiC chips were further optimized for use in automotive inverters starting in 2024.

Small cause – big effect

Silicon carbide belongs to the so-called wide bandgap semiconductors, whose wide bandgap (simplified: the energy gap between the non-conductive state and the conductive state of the electrons in the material) enables lower electrical resistance, fast and low loss switching chips for power electronics. At the same time, SiC chips are more thermally resistant, so that the power density of electronics can be increased.

Thanks to these features, SiC electronics have reduced conversion losses compared to conventional silicon (Si). Especially at high voltage levels such as 800 V, SiC inverters are more efficient than Si models. Since 800 V is the prerequisite for fast and thus convenient high-voltage charging, SiC devices are at the beginning of a worldwide boom. Reduced conversion losses in the inverter are also significant for the overall efficiency of electric driving and thus for range. Competition for sufficient capacities in components made of this high-tech material is correspondingly fierce.