LATEST NEWS / PROJECTS / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG3 Min Read
As part of their strategic partnership announced earlier this year, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a leading global technology company of next generation mobility, and Wolfspeed Inc, the global leader in Silicon Carbide technology, announced their plans to establish a joint European R&D center for Silicon Carbide power electronics in the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region.
The new joint research facility is supported by the German federal government and the regional government of Bavaria. Like the planned Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide chip factory in Ensdorf, Saarland, funding for the new center is subject to approval by the European Commission under the EU’s Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) scheme, as well as antitrust authorities. The aim is to develop the two facilities to become the cornerstone of a new European Silicon Carbide technology network.
Construction will begin after IPCEI funding approval has been secured for both projects, which is expected later this year. The goal of the collaboration is to develop breakthrough innovations for Silicon Carbide systems, products, and applications, covering the full value chain from module to complete systems and thus reducing time-to-market significantly. The joint research center will target requirements in all mobility segments including consumer, commercial, agricultural, and industrial vehicles, as well as in the industrial and renewable energy markets. The collaboration aims to drive improvements such as higher efficiency, increased power density and higher performance of electrification solutions. Wolfspeed’s Silicon Carbide expertise and ZF’s access to all mobility segments allows for a fast and seamless transition of new technologies.
ZF and Wolfspeed are partnering with other leading organizations from the scientific and industrial communities to establish a comprehensive European Silicon Carbide technology network. To this end, ZF will use its membership in the European Center of Power Electronics (ECPE) and share key research results at the European level. Over time, the research center is planned to develop into an electronics and semiconductor campus.
“The research center is of outstanding importance for the energy and mobility transition in the EU and supports the strategic goals of Europe,” says Dr Holger Klein, CEO of ZF. “In addition, optimizing Silicon Carbide technology advances industrial transformation and strengthens the independence of European supply chains.”
“This research facility further strengthens our partnership with ZF and underlines our long-term commitment to turn our unique know-how from more than 35 years of experience in Silicon Carbide power electronics into state-of-the-art solutions for our industry partners,” comments Gregg Lowe, CEO of Wolfspeed Inc.
The strategic partnership links ZF, one of the world’s leading suppliers of electric drives, with Wolfspeed, the world’s most recognized specialist in Silicon Carbide technology. “This connection is unique and will lead to enormous advances in Silicon Carbide-based electrical systems and electric drives,” says ZF Board of Management member Stephan von Schuckmann. “This is made possible by the close networking of the research center and production, because fundamentally redesigned Silicon Carbide chips also require new production processes.”
Original – Wolfspeed
LATEST NEWS / PROJECTS / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG3 Min Read
The technology group ZF will, from 2025, purchase silicon carbide devices from STMicroelectronics. Under the terms of the multi-year contract, ST will supply a volume of double-digit millions of silicon carbide devices to be integrated in ZF’s new modular inverter architecture going into series production in 2025. ZF will leverage ST’s vertically integrated silicon carbide manufacturing in Europe and Asia to secure customer orders in electromobility.
“With this strategically important step, we are strengthening our supply chain to be able to securely supply our customers. Our order book in electromobility until 2030 now amounts to more than thirty billion euros. For this volume, we need several reliable suppliers for silicon carbide devices,” says Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF Board of Management responsible for electromobility as well as materials management. “In STMicroelectronics, we now have a supplier whose experience with complex systems meets our requirements and who, above all, can produce the devices in exceptionally high quality and at the required quantities.” With this agreement, ZF has gained a world-class supplier for silicon carbide technology, in addition to ZF’s existing partnership agreement on silicon carbide technology announced in February.
“As a vertically integrated company, we are investing heavily to expand capacity and develop our silicon carbide supply chain to support our global and European customers across automotive and industrial sectors, as they pursue electrification and decarbonization targets,” says Marco Monti, President Automotive and Discrete Group of STMicroelectronics. “The key to success in electric vehicle technology is greater scalability and modularity with increased efficiency, peak power, and affordability. Our silicon carbide technologies help deliver these benefits and we are proud to work with ZF, a leading automotive supplier for electrification, to help them differentiate and optimize the performance of their inverters.”
ST will manufacture the silicon carbide chips at its production fabs in Italy and Singapore with packaging of the chips into STPAK, an ST-developed advanced package, and testing at its back-end facilities in Morocco and China.
ST will supply ZF from 2025 with a volume of double-digit millions of third generation silicon carbide MOSFET devices. ZF can connect a variable number of such devices together to match customers’ performance requirements without changing the design of the inverter. Among others, ZF will use the technology in inverters for vehicles of a European car manufacturer whose production start is planned for 2025.
The inverter is the brain of electric drivetrains. It manages the flow of energy from battery to e-motor and vice versa. Inverters have become more efficient and more complex with every development step. The combination of the inverter design and the semiconductors, like silicon carbide, is the key to improving electric vehicle performance. Silicon carbide devices significantly reduce power losses in electric car inverters, as well as in wind turbine and photovoltaic inverters. Devices made with silicon carbide have decisive advantages over conventional silicon-based products, such as higher efficiency, power density and reliability. At the same time, they enable smaller and more cost-effective system designs. Simply put, an electric vehicle charges faster, drives further and has more space when equipped with silicon carbide-based semiconductors.
Original – STMicroelectronics