ROHM and Leadrive develop SiC-based automotive inverters
ROHM and Leadrive Technology (LEADRIVE), the Chinese leading manufacturer of automotive powertrain for new energy vehicles with headquarters in Shanghai, held an opening ceremony of their joint laboratory on SiC technology in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Lingang New Area), after agreeing to partner to develop SiC-based automotive inverters.
SiC power devices have been adopted increasingly in onboard vehicle chargers and DC/DC converters. These devices provide several advantages compared to silicon-based power devices such as IGBTs. One key benefit: significantly lower losses during both switching and conduction along with being able to operate at higher temperature.
Since 2017, ROHM and LEADRIVE have been collaborating and carrying out detailed technical exchanges on automotive applications utilising SiC power devices. Establishing a joint research lab centered on vehicle power modules and inverters utilising ROHM’s SiC MOSFET bare chips and isolated gate drivers will give both companies the opportunity to further accelerate the development of innovative power solutions.
“The adoption of power modules that integrate SiC chips for new energy vehicles will become an industry trend over the next couple of years. Commercialising mature SiC-equipped devices by collecting resources from around the world and carrying out R&D gives us a competitive edge as an automotive Tier 1 manufacturer,” said Dr. Jie Shen, Chairman and General Manager at Leadrive Technology (Shanghai). “ROHM has been a strong partner since LEADRIVE was founded. This joint research laboratory will allow us to deepen our collaboration.”
“As a pioneer and leading supplier of SiC power devices, ROHM has a proven track record for providing high quality power solutions that combine industry-leading device technology with driver ICs, and we are committed to promote the use of SiC for xEV applications,” added Dr Kazuhide Ino, Member of the Board, Corporate Officer, CSO and Senior Director of Power Device Business at ROHM.
“Understanding customer needs and market trends is extremely important when developing SiC power device technology. LEADRIVE plays an important role in the applied research of SiC as a manufacturer of automotive power modules and inverters. Through this joint research lab, we can strengthen our partnership and contribute to the technical innovation of automotive power solutions centered on SiC.”
A power transistor that combines the high-speed switching characteristics of a MOSFET with the low conduction loss of a bipolar transistor.
Losses inevitably occur in transistors such as MOSFETs and IGBTs due to their particular device structure. Switching loss occurs when the conduction state of the device is switched (during switching operation). Conduction loss is generated by the internal resistance component when current flows (ON state) through the device.