Future electric vehicles will use GaN and SiC, says supplier
GaN Systems is presenting a paper on new wide-bandgap semiconductors and their role in automotive power electronics at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Conference & Expo in Michigan 17 – 19 September.
With manufacturers are currently designing vehicles to be launched onto the market in 2018, it is predicted that by this date gallium nitride semiconductors will attain price parity with silicon devices.
This will make the technology attractive as a replacement for silicon for use in the power electronics in electric and hybrid vehicles (EHVs).
“EHVs are full of power electronics, from battery management, auxiliary power, braking, valve timing, cruise control, security systems, instrument clusters – all of which are currently suffering the limitations imposed by silicon, as it doesn’t switch quickly or cope with elevated temperatures,” said Girvan Patterson, CEO of GaN Systems.
“New generation gallium nitride and SiC semiconductors overcome these difficulties and are lighter, smaller and easier to package. These new devices will lead to dramatic improvements in automotive power electronics and present a major opportunity for the industry,” said Patterson.
Julian Styles, director business development at GaN Systems, will explain the technological advances in semiconductor materials which he believes will lead to the replacement of traditional silicon in power converters for new generation electric and hybrid vehicles.
Styles will explain what he sees as the benefits of wide-bandgap power semiconductors based on gallium nitride, such as greater efficiency, weight reduction and lower cost to power electronics for EHVs.