McLaren Applied has selected STMicroelectronics (ST) as a key supplier of silicon carbide (SiC) power modules for its next-generation IPG5 800V inverter. The next-generation IPG5 800V silicon carbide inverter can power electric motors to more than 400kW peak, 250kW continuous, at an unprecedented weight and volume. It has been designed for automotive applications, including direct drive, that are capable of operating high-speed motors efficiently and adhere to ISO 26262 ASIL-D standards.
Electric vehicle (EV) powertrain technology increasingly relies on a reliable supply of quality SiC semiconductors such as MOSFETs, especially in 800V architectures. In choosing ST’s SiC, McLaren Applied aims to secure a solid and regular power electronics supply chain for McLaren Applied as it ramps up production and commercialisation of its IPG5 inverter for OEMs and Tier 1 partners.
In the last six months, McLaren Applied has finalized powertrain agreements with American hybrid sports car marque Czinger and in-wheel motor specialists Elaphe for the supply of its IPG5 inverter, with a number of other mid- and high-volume EV models expected to be announced in the near future.
At just 3.79L in size and weighing 5.5kg, IPG5 can extend an EV’s range by more than 7%. Derived from decades of innovation in top tier automotive and motorsports applications, McLaren Applied’s IPG5 is highly controllable, offering variable switching frequencies and unparalleled motor response. The variability in switching frequency up to 32kHz enables engineers to use a faster, more efficient, and lightweight drivetrain. McLaren Applied’s IPG5 leverages the ST ACEPACK DRIVE power module based on third generation 1200V SiC MOSFET technology.
Silicon carbide and the need for greater efficiency is absolutely going to be a key trend in the increasing adoption of EV technology. Inverter technology is rapidly adopting silicon carbide semiconductors, especially in 800V architectures, and this deal with ST secures access to the best SiC semiconductor technology available today.—Stephen Lambert, Head of Electrification at McLaren Applied
The automotive team at McLaren Applied sees efficiency as leading what it describes as the third wave of electrification. The first involved early pioneers of technology, and the second wave was denoted by the recent breakthrough of EVs to the mainstream. The third stage is efficiency and will see inverter technology use SiC semiconductors, especially in vehicles that need longer range and faster charging—two areas in which efficient power electronics are key.
The fourth stage will see OEMs building EVs which align with the driver experience they want to deliver and their brand ethos. McLaren Applied helps OEMs achieve this by enabling controllability, through its hardware and software, to deliver the most appropriate driver experience for the brand and type of car. The ability to control the drivetrain more sensitively enables OEMs to start programming different characteristics into their vehicles. With this, they can introduce character that some might say is lacking from EVs.