22 March 2022
NXP and Hitachi Energy collaborate on power module to accelerate SiC adoption in E-mobility
NXP Semiconductors N.V. of Eindhoven, The Netherlands has announced a collaboration with Hitachi Energy to accelerate the adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor modules in e-mobility. The project aims to provide more efficient, reliable and functionally safe SiC MOSFET-based solutions for powertrain inverters consisting of NXPs GD3160 single-channel high-voltage (HV) isolated gate drivers and Hitachi Energy’s RoadPak automotive SiC MOSFET power modules.
Compared with traditional silicon insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), SiC MOSFET power devices offer electric vehicle makers the ability to increase the range and overall efficiency of their systems. Enabled by high-performance power semiconductor modules and isolated gate drivers, SiC MOSFET power devices offer faster switching speeds, lower turn-on resistance and reduced thermal dissipation that can help to drive down the size and cost of an electric vehicle’s (xEV’s) powertrain inverter and lower the required capacity of the battery pack, extending the vehicle’s range.
Hitachi Energy’s high-performance automotive power semiconductor module RoadPak delivers what is claimed to be excellent heat dissipation, low stray inductances, and long-term ruggedness to withstand the challenging automotive environment (key to unleashing the full capabilities and benefits of SiC MOSFETs). To attain optimal performance, the power module is paired with NXP’s GD3160 single-channel, high-voltage isolated gate driver (with enhanced features for driving SiC MOSFETs devices rated to 1700V), which enables fast and reliable switching and fault protection.
“Working with Hitachi Energy has allowed us to highlight the efficiency and range benefits of SiC MOSFETs for e-mobility,” says Robert Li, VP & general manager of NXP’s Drivers & Energy Systems product line. “By pairing the GD3160 with the Hitachi Energy’s RoadPak SiC module, we’ve delivered a solution that aims to reduce the transition time from evaluation to performance optimization of SiC MOSFETs used in traction inverters.”
Hitachi Energy has been leveraging its technology and the experience gained in the industrial and transportation segments to develop its high-density RoadPak automotive SiC power modules for e-mobility applications. The RoadPak half-bridge power module incorporates 1200V SiC MOSFETs, integrated cooling pin-fins and low-inductance connections all in a small form factor. It can support applications from e-buses and electric passenger vehicles to high-performance Formula-E race cars.
“We are pleased to be collaborating with NXP Semiconductors to improve the performance of e-mobility with faster and low-loss switching,” says Rainer Kaesmaier, managing director of Hitachi Energy’s Semiconductor business. “Our joint solution based on NXP Gate Units and SiC RoadPak from Hitachi Energy, built on our industry-leading experience and innovative technologies, will help enable e-vehicles to drive longer distances,” he adds.
The FRDMGD31RPEVM (the GD3160 half-bridge EVB customized for the RoadPak SiC module) is available now. Hitachi Energy’s 1200V RoadPak half-bridge SiC module is available now in 580A, 780A and 980A options.