Israeli GaN startup VisIC Technologies has developed a reference design for an 800V motor inverter that can be used for a cost effective EV motor drive.
Working with the University of Texas at Austin, the VisIC Technologies team developed a 100kW design based on its D 3GaN technology for both 800V and 900V power bus architectures. These devices have highly thermal efficient SMD packaging, high threshold voltage, fast switching and easy paralleling for most cost effective, highly efficient, and reliable inverter solution for electric vehicles..
The estimated peak efficiency of the inverter can reach 99.3 per cent with 40kHz switching frequency, due to the low switching losses of the D 3GaN devices. The total dimension is 26.9 x 21.4 x 3.5cm with a liquid cooling heatsink. The power density is 50kW/l including the liquid cooling and the inverter weighs 2.5kg.
A common view is that GaN technology will be used primarily in the 400V power-bus due to its lower cost compared to other wide bandgap technologies, and SiC is commonly used in the high voltage 800V power-bus for higher power applications. The 100kW inverter reference design demonstrates that GaN technology can also be used in the 800V power-bus applications as well.
"Previously GaN has demonstrated its superior performance in achieving high power density for chargers. Thanks to VisIC GaN's superior packaging concept and low losses, we believe high power density can also be achieved in very high-power application such as traction inverters", said Dr Alex Huang, director of The Semiconductor Power Electronics Center at University of Texas at Austin.
"We are very happy with the cooperation with University of Texas as they've shown professional power design and innovative system solution" said Gregory Bunin, CTO of VisIC. "This breakthrough will also enable the 800 V EV power-bus to benefit from the GaN low cost and high efficiency technology and provide cost effective EV cars, for greener and cleaner planet."