Hofer powertrain and VisIC Technologies join forces to bring GaN-based 3-Level inverters for 800V EV applications.

hofer powertrain and VisIC Technologies join forces to bring the most efficient GaN-based, high-frequency inverters for 800V applications to the automotive world. With the focus on realizing smaller, lower cost, and more efficient systems demanded by the growing electric vehicle market we bring system efficiency into mainstream usage.

We are happy to announce this cooperation with VisiC Technologies on the joined development of 800V 3-Level automotive inverters. Both technologies in combination allow us to apply the benefits of GaN and the benefits of the 3L topology, and thereby multiply the benefits for our customers”, says Philipp Matt, Electronics expert at hofer powertrain.

Gallium nitride semiconductors are the key to efficiency improvements and increasing the driving range of electrified vehicles. This partnership’s main aim is to develop gallium nitride-based power inverters in electric vehicles, achieving the breakthrough of gallium nitride technology for 800V battery systems in the automotive industry. This technology offers significantly better switching speed and smaller and lighter package size, reducing total system cost.

VisIC’s D3 GaN technology was developed for the high-reliability standards of the automotive industry and offers the lowest losses per RDS (on). It also simplifies the system solution and enables highly efficient and affordable powertrain solutions. This technology represents the next step for the automotive electrical driveline”, says CEO of VisIC, Tamara Baksht.

For more than five years, hofer powertrain has been working on developing 3-Level inverters, revealing the vast benefits that the 3-Level topology brings compared to state-of-the-art 2-Level inverters using IGBTs or SiC chips. With our focus on system efficiency, engineering teams showed how the special properties of the 3-L topology of an inverter bring a significantly improved overall system energy consumption at the relevant reference driving cycles, such as the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), due to reduced harmonic losses in the motor. Moreover, optimization of the Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) behavior of the complete Electric Drive Unit is ensured due to the better Total Harmonic Distortion of the output current affecting noise reduction.

Finally, the technology allows cost reduction regarding Electro Magnetic Compatibility measures. This economic benefit helps meet increasingly strict requirements (such as Comité International Spécial des Perturbations Radioélectriques 25 class 5) due to the better common-mode behavior of the hofer powertrain 3-Level inverter.  

GaN chips are used for 400V DC-link voltage and hofer powertrains 3-Level topology coupled with VisIC’s GaN benefits will take it to the next level of improvement of 800V powertrains and can be used for 3-level topologies.

Source: https://www.hoferpowertrain.com/

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