9 March 2020
Marelli partners with Transphorm
Automotive supplier Marelli has announced a strategic partnership with Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA — which designs and manufactures JEDEC- and AEC-Q101-qualified 650V and 900V gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion applications. The partnership will enable Marelli to gain access and insights into technologies for the development of electric vehicles (EVs), in particular power converters, on-board chargers and inverters for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Transphorm has direct experience with GaN in the automotive sector, especially in Japan. So, Marelli reckons that access to their technologies will be of strategic benefit, as it looks at ways to grow through innovation within its Electric Powertrain business. Direct investment in power electronics of this kind will mean a substantial step in the evolution of the electric powertrain solutions, with higher efficiency and lower system costs, eventually resulting in benefits for customers and final consumers, Marelli reckons.
Marelli and Transphorm believe that, through the partnership, they will benefit from knowledge and information exchange for new automotive/EV power conversion solutions including on-board chargers (OBCs), DC-DC converters and powertrain inverters. Working alongside Transphorm engineers, Marelli engineers will use their experience in manufacturing to advise and guide on product development relevant to its ongoing investment in the development of e-powertrain solutions for electric vehicles and also for motorsport applications. For such joint development and co-working of engineers, Transphorm will exclusively cooperate with Marelli for two years, to enable the development of new technologies for electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicle power conversion is fundamentally important to the future of electric vehicles and investment in technologies like this are critical to ensure the very highest performance of electric vehicles at a lower cost,” says Joachim Fetzer, CEO, Electric Powertrain, Marelli. “This partnership allows us to work with the Transphorm team to shape and improve products that will ultimately ensure improved performance, efficiency of power electronics and ultimately lower the cost of electric vehicles,” he adds.
“Automotive and EVs represent one of the largest opportunities for GaN in power conversion, and our partnership with a global leader like Marelli is a strong testament to the quality, reliability, manufacturing and overall product performance of our GaN solutions,” says Transphorm’s co-founder & chief operating officer Primit Parikh. “The long-term innovative system-level vision of the Marelli Electric Powertrain team will be extremely valuable in furthering GaN in the electric vehicle.”