Delphi Technologies PLC, a global provider of automotive propulsion technologies, and Cree, Inc., a leader in silicon carbide semiconductors, are partnering to utilize silicon carbide semiconductor device technology to enable faster, smaller, lighter and more powerful electronic systems for future electric vehicles (EV).
Cree’s silicon carbide-based MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) technology coupled with Delphi Technologies’ traction drive inverters, DC/DC converters and chargers will extend driving range and deliver faster charging times of EVs, while also lowering weight, conserving space and reducing cost.
The Cree silicon carbide MOSFETs will initially be used in Delphi Technologies’ 800V inverters for a premium global automaker. Production will ramp in 2022.
Delphi Viper 4 inverter power switch. Inverter power modules generally comprise six switches, which flip back and forth between different current types. Viper compacts all six switches into one housing. This innovative design combines Delphi’s patented silicon isolated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) switch and a diode into a single, electrically isolated package that is thermally conductive on both sides. The double-sided cooling reduces power module heat and delivers better reliability in a more compact design. It also permits much higher power outputs, increasing hybrid and electric vehicle range.
The adoption of silicon carbide-based power solutions is growing across the automotive market as the industry seeks to accelerate its move from internal combustion engines to EVs. IHS estimates that, by 2030, 30 million high voltage electrified light vehicles will be sold representing 27% of all vehicles sold annually.
Inverters are one of the highest-value electrification components and their efficiency has an industry-changing impact on many aspects of vehicle performance.
Cree is committed to leading the global transition from silicon to silicon carbide and recently announced silicon carbide capacity expansion to generate up to a 30-fold increase in capacity. The company offers a comprehensive set of silicon carbide and GaN (Gallium nitride) power and RF (radio frequency) solutions through its Wolfspeed business unit.
Delphi Technologies’ new silicon carbide inverter operating at 800V will provide vehicle engineers with additional flexibility to optimize other powertrain systems. Options include more range or a smaller battery; ultra-fast charging or smaller, lighter, cheaper cables; and greater harvesting of vehicle kinetic energy when braking, further extending vehicle range.