An article written by Ahmed Ben Slimane and Poshun Chiu, Technology and Market analysts at Yole Développement (Yole), for Power Electronics News – The challenges of the energy transition involve different markets. Technological advances in electric vehicles (EVs) are reducing costs, but above all offering the greater range efficiency demanded by many consumers.
The challenges of energy transition involve different markets. Technological advances in electric vehicles (EVs) are reducing costs but above all offer the greater range efficiency demanded by many consumers. The combination of more power-dense batteries, more efficient electric motors, and new wide-bandgap semiconductor solutions for the entire powertrain are driving the market. Gallium nitride (GaN) is a wide-bandgap material with remarkable intrinsic characteristics. It provides numerous advantages at the system level for better performance.
“Higher-power–density devices and lower system weight are two of the approaches to increase the range,” said Ahmed Ben Slimane and Poshun Chiu, technology and market analysts at Yole Développement (Yole). “GaN can operate with higher efficiency at higher frequencies, outperforming Si [silicon] MOSFET devices, thus allowing a reduction in the number of passive components in the system and increasing the power density.”
Ben Slimane and Chiu noted that, starting from 2022, GaN is expected to penetrate in small volumes, mainly related to sampling by OEMs and Tier 1s. “GaN is expected to penetrate the 48- to 12-V DC/DC converters, where we have seen a trend to standardize the 48-V systems in mild hybrid EV [MHEV] cars to increase power delivery and reduce resistive losses,” said Ben Slimane and Chiu.
Yole pointed out that another market that represents a good opportunity for GaN is the on-board charger (OBC), in which GaN is very well-positioned to penetrate the lower-power charger range (3 kW to several tens of kilowatts). “However, in general, GaN will compete with SiC [silicon carbide] and Si,” said Ben Slimane and Chiu. “SiC, in particular, will be favored at higher power and higher voltages [more than 1,200 V], especially at the inverter level.”
Yole expects the power GaN device automotive and mobility market to exceed $155M in 2026.
… Full article on Power Electronics News
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