Developing SiC-based automotive inverters together: ROHM and LEADRIVE establish a joint laboratory

ROHM and Leadrive Technology (LEADRIVE), the Chinese 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).

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 utilizing SiC power devices. Establishing a joint research lab centered on vehicle power modules and inverters utilizing 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. Commercializing 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,” says 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,” Dr. Shen continues.

 As a pioneer and supplier of SiC power devices, ROHM has a proven track record for providing high quality power solutions that combine industry device technology with driver ICs, and we are committed to promote the use of SiC for xEV applications,” adds Dr. Kazuhide Ino, Member of the Board, Senior 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,” Dr. Ino concludes.

About LEADRIVE

LEADRIVE was established in 2017 as a high-tech company that supplies power modules utilizing advanced semiconductors and power solutions utilizing motor and inverters for new energy vehicles. Leveraging cutting-edge R&D and application design capabilities makes it possible to develop high performance, low-cost products.

In addition, more than 10 years of experience developing SiC power modules and systems using SiC bare chips and over 100 international patents give LEADRIVE the resources and capability to offer world-class products and technologies in 3 main areas: new energy, power conversion, and power electronics.

About ROHM

ROHM, a semiconductor and electronic component manufacturer, was established in 1958. From the automotive and industrial equipment markets to the consumer and communication sectors, ROHM supplies ICs, discretes, and electronic components featuring superior quality and reliability through a global development and sales network.

Our strength in the analog power market allows us to propose optimized solutions for entire systems that combine peripheral components (i.e. transistors, diodes, resistors) with the latest SiC power devices as well as driver ICs that maximize their performance.  

Electronic terminology at a glance:

IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor)

A power transistor that combines the high-speed switching characteristics of a MOSFET with the low conduction loss of a bipolar transistor.

Switching and Conduction Losses

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. 

MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor

The most commonly used structure in FETs. Often adopted as switching elements.

Source: https://www.rohm.com

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