NXP & Hitachi Energy collaborate on power module to accelerate silicon carbide adoption in e-mobility

21 March 2022

NXP and Hitachi Energy Collaborate on Power Module to Accelerate Silicon Carbide Adoption in E-mobility
NXP and Hitachi Energy Collaborate on Power Module to Accelerate Silicon Carbide Adoption in E-mobility

The collaboration combines NXP’s GD3160 isolated gate driver & Hitachi Energy’s RoadPak SiC power modules to bring efficient, reliable & functionally safe ePowertrains to market more quickly.

NXP Semiconductors has announced a collaboration with Hitachi Energy to accelerate the adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor modules in e-mobility. The project aims to provide more efficient, reliable and functionally safe SiC MOSFET-based solutions for powertrain inverters, comprised of NXP's advanced, high-performance GD3160 isolated HV (high voltage) Gate Drivers and Hitachi Energy’s RoadPak automotive SiC MOSFET power modules.

Compared to traditional silicon IGBTs (insulated-gate bipolar transistors), SiC MOSFET power devices offer electric vehicle (EV) makers the ability to increase the range and overall efficiency of their systems. SiC MOSFET power devices, enabled by high-performance power semiconductor modules and isolated gate drivers, offer faster switching speeds, lower turn-on resistance and reduced thermal dissipation that can help drive down the size and cost of an electric vehicle’s powertrain inverter and lower the required capacity of the battery pack, extending the vehicle’s range.

Hitachi Energy’s high-performance automotive power semiconductor module RoadPak delivers excellent heat dissipation, low stray inductances, and long-term ruggedness to withstand the challenging automotive environment; a key to unleashing the full capabilities and benefits of SiC MOSFETs. To attain optimal performance, the power module is paired with NXP’s GD3160 high-voltage isolated gate driver, which enables fast and reliable switching and fault protection.  

Working with Hitachi Energy has allowed us to highlight the efficiency and range benefits of SiC MOSFETs for e-mobility,” said Robert Li, Vice President & General Manager of NXP’s Drivers & Energy Systems Product Line. “By pairing the GD3160 with the Hitachi Energy’s RoadPak SiC module, we’ve delivered a solution that aims to reduce the transition time from evaluation to performance optimisation of SiC MOSFETs used in traction inverters.

Hitachi Energy has been leveraging its technology and the experience gained in the industrial and transportation segments to develop its high-density RoadPak automotive SiC power modules for e-mobility applications. The RoadPak half-bridge power module incorporates 1200V SiC MOSFETs, integrated cooling pin-fins and low inductance connections, all in a small form factor. It can support applications from e-buses and electric passenger vehicles to high-performance Formula-E race cars.

We are pleased to be collaborating with NXP Semiconductors to improve the performance of e-mobility with faster and low-loss switching,” said Rainer Kaesmaier, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Semiconductor business. “Our joint solution based on NXP Gate Units and SiC RoadPak from Hitachi Energy, built on our industry-leading experience and innovative technologies, will help enable e-vehicles to drive longer distances, thus helping to reduce global carbon emissions and power sustainable transportation everywhere.
For more information, visit nxp.com/GD3160

•    The FRDMGD31RPEVM, the GD3160 half-bridge EVB customised for the RoadPak SiC module is available now.
•    The Hitachi Energy’s 1200V RoadPak half-bridge SiC module is available now in 580A, 780A and 980A options.

About the NXP GD3160
•    An advanced single channel high-voltage isolated gate driver with enhanced features for driving silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs devices rated to 1700 V.
•    Incorporates ±15 A of gate current drive capability.
•    Fast DeSat block which can detect and react against short-circuit (SC) events in SiC MOSFETS in less than 1 µs.
•    Implements segmented drive for higher efficiency and better VDS over-shoot protection at a lower BOM cost than other traditional methods.
•    SPI Programmable drive, protection and fault reporting features such as 2LTO, Soft Shutdown (SSD), DeSat Threshold and OTW.
•    Includes additional protection, such as integrated power device temp sensing, and functional safety features, such as analogue BIST, communication WatchDog and SPI with CRC to facilitate implementation of traction inverter systems meeting the requirements of ASIL-C or ASIL-D functional safety.

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