• Volkswagen Relies on Direct Purchasing of Semiconductors

    Volkswagen Relies on Direct Purchasing of Semiconductors

    4 Min Read

    The Volkswagen Group is reorganizing its procurement of electronic parts and semiconductors to ensure supply over the long term and, in doing so, securing itself a leading position in terms of technology as well as competitiveness. To this end, the Group has developed a new strategy for the procurement of parts with electronic components.

    “A high degree of transparency in the semiconductor value chain – the exact knowledge of the parts used – enables us to better determine the global demand and availability of these components. This is underscored by risk management which, in future, will extend to the level of individual electronic parts and help us detect bottlenecks early on and avoid them.

    For strategically important semiconductors and even the Group’s own planned developments in the future, we will rely on direct purchasing from the semiconductor manufacturers,” said Dirk Große-Loheide, Board Member for Procurement of Volkswagen Passenger Cars and member of Group management.

    In the past, electronic components like control units were procured and the Tier 1 suppliers were largely free to decide which parts they used. Going forward, in close collaboration and partnership with Tier 1 suppliers, Group procurement will define which semiconductors and other electronic parts are to be used.

    “Additionally, this is done across all brands by the Semiconductor Sourcing Committee (SSC) established especially for this purpose, with representatives from the procurement and development departments of the brands as well as from Volkswagen Group Components and CARIAD. Furthermore, the transparency regarding semiconductors means that technical alternatives can be identified and implemented more quickly in the event of bottlenecks.

    Another positive effect is that a reduction in the diversity of variants in the hardware results in a lower degree of software complexity,” said Karsten Schnake, Board Member for Procurement at Škoda Auto and head of the cross-brand and cross-functional task force COMPASS (Cross Operational Management Parts & Supply Security), explaining the advantages.

    Semiconductors are indispensable in the automotive industry: not only are they elementary for mass production, but they are also innovation drivers and key for launching new products on the market.

    The greatest increase in demand for semiconductors is the result of the increasing electrification of vehicles and the trend towards the growing use of assistant functions through to fully autonomous driving. The corresponding innovations will also result in the use of cutting-edge semiconductors, while the demand for more common semiconductors will remain or even rise further. Vehicle innovations are heavily characterised by the use of semiconductors: in 1978, only eight semiconductors were installed in a control unit of a Porsche 911. Today, a Škoda Enyaq has around 90 control units with some 8,000 electronic components.

    This development also has an impact on the value of electronic components in the vehicle, the value of which will more than double by the year 2030 from today’s average of around 600 euros per vehicle. According to the Group’s assessment and corresponding analyzes, the importance of the automotive sector as a customer of the semiconductor industry is also increasing.

    Today, the automotive industry is in 5th place among the major buyers with a global procurement volume for semiconductors of around 47 billion US dollars. By 2030, our industry is expected to secure third place with a market volume of around 147 billion US dollars.

    The after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated chip crisis can still be felt. To solve these enormous challenges and ensure the semiconductor supply, the Volkswagen Group launched the COMPASS initiative at the beginning of 2022, initially with the operational focus of safeguarding the vehicle programme. Strategic action areas were identified on the basis of lessons learned during the semiconductor crisis and solutions were developed and implemented for the long term.

    Original – Volkswagen

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  • Navitas To Reveal New Power Platform at SEMICON Taiwan

    Navitas To Reveal New Power Platform at SEMICON Taiwan

    2 Min Read

    Navitas Semiconductor will reveal a new, high-performance wide bandgap power platform as part of its display at one of Asia’s most prestigious electronics exhibitions – sponsored by Navitas – SEMICON Taiwan 2023, from September 6th-8th.

    Visitors will discover the latest gallium nitride (GaN) GaNFast™ power ICs integrate gallium nitride (GaN) power and drive, with control, sensing, and protection to enable faster charging, higher power density, and greater energy savings. Complementary GeneSiC™ power devices are optimized high-power, high-voltage, and high-reliability silicon carbide (SiC) solutions.

    Additionally, Navitas will showcase cutting-edge, power-system platforms to dramatically accelerate customer developments, minimize time-to-market, and set new industry benchmarks in energy efficiency, power density and system cost. These system platforms include complete design collateral with fully-tested hardware, embedded software, schematics, bill-of-materials, layout, simulation and hardware test results.  Examples include:

    1. Navitas’ CRPS185 data center power platform, that delivers a full 3,200 W of power in only 1U (40 mm) x 73.5mm x 185 mm (544 cc), achieving 5.9 W/cc, or almost 100 W/in3 power density. This is a 40% size reduction vs, the equivalent legacy silicon approach and reaches over 96.5% efficiency at 30% load, and over 96% stretching from 20% to 60% load, creating a ‘Titanium Plus’ benchmark.
    2. Navitas’ 6.6 kW 3-in-1 bi-directional EV on-board charger (OBC) with 3 kW DC-DC. This 96%+ efficient unit has over 50% higher power density, and with efficiency over 95%, delivers up to 16% energy savings as compared to competing solutions.

    As part of SEMICON’s Power and Opto Semiconductor Forum, Navitas’ Charles Bailley, Senior Director of Business Development, will present “GaN Power ICs Increase Power Density in EV Power Systems”. The presentation is at 2pm, on September 6th, in room 402, 4F, TaiNEX 1.

    “Breakthrough high efficiency, high reliability, and high power density – all from the new GaN power IC platform,” said Kevin 汪時民 Wang, Manager of Navitas Taiwan. “The new platform announcement matches SEMICON’s theme of ‘Innovating the World through Semiconductors’ and our own mission to ‘Electrify Our World™’.”

    Original – Navitas Semiconductor

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  • Transphorm’s GaN Powers World’s First Integrated Microinverter PV Systems by DAH Solar

    Transphorm’s GaN Powers World’s First Integrated Microinverter PV Systems by DAH Solar

    3 Min Read

    Transphorm, Inc. announced that its GaN platform powers the world’s first integrated photovoltaic (PV) systems from DAH Solar Co., Ltd. (Anhui Daheng New Energy Technology Co., LTD/subsidiary of DAH Solar). The PV systems are used in DAH Solar’s new SolarUnit product line. DAH Solar credits Transphorm’s GaN FETs with enabling it to produce smaller, lighter, and more reliable solar panel systems that also offer higher overall power generation with lower energy consumption.

    The design achievements continue to demonstrate Transphorm’s One Core GaN Platform, Crossing the Power Spectrum leadership position by solidifying its value proposition in the renewables market, which currently represent a GaN TAM of more than $500M.

    DAH Solar uses Transphorm’s 150 mΩ and 70 mΩ GaN FETs in the SolarUnits’ design architecture (both DC-to-DC and DC-to-AC power stages). The SolarUnits are available in three models with power outputs of 800 W, 920 W, or 1500 W and peak efficiencies of 97.16%, 97.2%, and 97.55% respectively. The GaN devices deliver higher switching frequencies and power density versus incumbent silicon solutions. Notably, the two FETs are available in PQFN88 performance packages that pair with commonly-used gate drivers—features that helped DAH Solar quicken its design time.

    “We have a strong legacy of producing innovative PV products. As such, we consistently look for ways to advance our products with state-of-the-art technologies to create a better, more efficient end user experience,” said Yong Gu, GM, DAH Solar. “We view Transphorm as an authority in the field of GaN production and found their advanced GaN FETs to be the optimal devices for our new SolarUnit line. The devices are easy to design in and offer performance advantages that enable us to continue building on our legacy.”

    Transphorm today supports the largest range of power conversion requirements (45 W to 10+ kW) across the widest range of power applications. The company’s FET portfolio includes 650 V and 900 V devices with 1200 V devices in development. These FETs are JEDEC and AEC-Q101 qualified, making them optimal solutions for power adapters and computer PSUs through to broad industrial UPSs and electric vehicle mobility systems.

    The company’s technology innovations continue to set new benchmarks across the GaN power semiconductor industry. In parallel, they help customers bring to market new, disruptive applications in their own markets—such as DAH Solar’s PV systems.

    These achievements are due to Transphorm’s normally-off SuperGaN® platform, which uses the cascode d-mode configuration to harness GaN’s intrinsic advantages. The superior physics of this high performance GaN platform design delivers competitively unmatched benefits such as easier drivability, easier designability, higher reliability, and greater manufacturability.

    “The value Transphorm’s GaN platform brings to a variety of applications continues to be demonstrated by market leaders like DAH Solar,” Kenny Yim, Vice President of Asia Sales, Transphorm. “Solar inverters as well as other high-power applications require highly reliable, high performing power semiconductors that can withstand decades of operation in harsh environments.

    Using Transphorm’s SuperGaN technology helps reduce power loss thereby minimizing thermal stress on other designed-in components. That’s a phenomenal achievement over alternative GaN and Silicon solutions underscoring the benefits our GaN brings to next generation power systems.”

    Original – Transphorm

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