16 March 2021
Nexperia and China’s UAES partner on GaN power devices
Nexperia BV of Nijmegen, Netherlands (which manufactures discrete and MOSFET components and analog & logic ICs) has announced a comprehensive partnership covering gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductor devices with United Automotive Electronic Systems Co Ltd (UAES) of Pudong District, Shanghai (a joint venture established in 1995 by China’s Zhonglian Automotive Electronics Co Ltd and Germany’s Robert Bosch GmbH). The program will focus on power systems for electric vehicles (EVs), with the aim to jointly develop automotive applications using GaN technology.
The electrification of cars, the increasing high power requirements of telecoms equipment for 5G and the rise of Industry 4.0 require power conversion efficiencies for which GaN is expected to become the mainstream technology. These trends underpin the growing demand for power semiconductors in 2021 and beyond. UAES has already started using Nexperia GaN FETs in R&D and collaborative projects including vehicle-mounted chargers and high-voltage DC-to-DC converters for electric cars. Nexperia says that its GaN technology has good figures of merit (RDS(on) x QGD) and reverse recovery charge (Qrr) metrics that support high switching frequencies and efficient power conversion. The firm produces GaN based on mature and reliable mass-production techniques, largely in its own global production facilities, to manufacture products according to automotive AEC-Q101 standards.
UAES provides car manufacturers with automotive powertrain and body control system solutions. It specializes in the development and production of gasoline engine management systems, transmission control systems, vehicle body electronics, and hybrid & electric drive control systems. Its five technology centers in China have laboratories for entire vehicles, engines, automatic transmissions and electric drive performance development. The equipment provides engineering services including system development, component development and calibration for various Chinese car manufacturers.
“The power density and efficiency of silicon-based GaN field-effect transistors will play key roles in the electrification of cars,” believes Paul Zhang, senior VP sales & marketing & general manager, Nexperia China. “We recognize the broad offering, industry position and customer basis that UAES has in the automotive industry and we believe that our intensified collaboration in GaN will help both companies to deliver more advanced and efficient EV power system solutions to our customers. Earlier this month, we announced an increase in global production and R&D investment to fully support new product development. We intend to expand our investments and jointly to create a laboratory to develop automotive GaN technology applications.”
“This partnership will help us reduce the number of devices used, reduce costs, increase power density and increase the reliability and effectiveness of the entire system,” states a senior management spokesperson at UAES.