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Automotive

Wolfspeed’s SiC semiconductors are putting EV systems designers in the driver’s seat.

Overview

Driving towards a faster, smaller, lighter future.

Now more than ever, EVs are on the roads and on the minds of Wolfspeed engineers. We’ve expanded our portfolio of wide bandgap SiC devices to deliver high-voltage, high-temperature EV components that are helping designers build the competitive, energy-sipping people movers the market demands.

A market in motion.

Wolfspeed launched the industry’s first SiC MOSFET in 2011 and it was game on. No longer constrained by the limitations of Si devices, EV designers embraced the higher voltage ranges and faster switching speeds of SiC MOSFETs and debuted a wave of advances in EV technologies. As they learned, we learned, and subsequent generations of SiC MOSFETS came fast and furious – 900V, 1000V, 1200V and 1700V. In 2017, we introduced the 900V 10m Ohm SiC MOSFET specifically for EV drive trains which enabled a reduction of EV drive train losses by 78%.

Wolfspeed now offers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of high-performance, high-capability SiC components, highlighted by our new E-Series, a family of ruggedized devices which are the first commercially available SiC MOSFETs and diodes to be AEC-Q101 automotive qualified and PPAP capable. The E-Series offers designers the highest available power density and corrosion resistance for on-board and off-board automotive power conversion systems, solar inverters and other outdoor applications.

The performance and reliability of Wolfspeed’s silicon carbide devices are particularly effective in five key applications within the EV arena:

FPO IMAGE

On-Board DC/DC Converter

An EV’s diverse systems are powered by diverse voltages – propulsion, HVAC, window lifts, lighting inside and out, infotainment and seat belt sensors are just some of a very long list. The on-board DC/DC unit must convert and portion out the correct voltage to each in real time, enabling all systems to work as one. SiC devices ensure this process transpires faster, more reliably and with greater efficiency than any silicon-based solution.

A white SUV-type electric vehicle is pluged in to an offboard charger - a charging station outside of the car

Off-Board DC Fast Charger

The off-board charger converts incoming external alternating current (AC) to the direct current (DC) power mode required by the EV ecosystem and stores it in the battery. Drivers used to a five-minute gas fill-up aren’t keen to wait hours for their vehicle to be able to get back on the road. The superior switching speed permitted by silicon carbide is at the heart of a cascade of new fast chargers surging out of labs worldwide

A closeup of the part of the electric vehicle you connect to a power source so that it can charge. It looks comparable to a large household plug.

On-Board Battery Charger

This component converts converts DC power from the battery subsystem into AC power for the main drive motor. When the vehicle is receiving external power from the grid, the device’s rectifier circuitry converts AC power into DC power to recharge the battery. The system also harvests kinetic energy created by the vehicle’s momentum through regenerative braking and sends that to the battery as well. At every stage, silicon carbide performs these functions more quickly, with less heat and less energy loss in components which are up to 60% smaller than silicon solutions.

A close up of a car without it's chassis attached, letting you see mechanical parts that control it's ability to steer.

EV Powertrain / Main Inverter

All EV powertrains propel their host vehicle, but exactly how that’s accomplished is up to the designer. He or she seeks to devise an elegant system which fluidly induces all the moving parts to do their jobs faster, using less power, at a lower price point. Many are designing around Wolfspeed’s new 1200V SiC MOSFET for its capability to handle high current with the industry’s lowest drain-source on resistance, which increases the distance consumers can drive on a single charge.

Auto Lighting

Auto Lighting

Cree’s pioneering development of LED lighting for automotive allows today’s EVs (as well as regular cars and trucks) to feature a rainbow of bumper-to-bumper LEDs drawing miniscule power. Now, in a collaboration with Valeo, the first complete high definition LED array solution has been introduced – Valeo Picture Beam Monolithic. For the first time, manufacturers can field a complete glare-free, high definition lighting system that features high beam and low beam in a single compact solution.

Wolfspeed silicon carbide devices enable EV power systems to go the extra mile.

Reference Designs

Everything’s faster with Wolfspeed SiC. Even the design process.
Reduce design-cycle time with Wolfspeed’s silicon carbide Reference Designs.

Wolfspeed offers time-saving designs for some of the most in-demand SiC devices in power systems – Inverters, MOSFETs, Gate Driver Boards, Auxiliary Supply Units and many more. These Reference Designs come complete with application notes, User Guides and introductory presentations, allowing designers to create rugged and reliable systems with best-in-class power density, performance and efficiency. All designs are provided free of charge as part of our commitment to increase adoption of SiC in every power system everywhere. Wolfspeed also offers automotive-focused resources that help you get to market faster – a design simulator, LTSpice and PLECS models and a complete roster of automotive-qualified devices. Wolfspeed SiC. More power to you.

Why Wolfspeed Power?

SiC Expertise

Wolfspeed’s founders were the first to successfully synthesize silicon carbide, and for the last 30 years have focused on devising and supplying the world’s power systems designers with the industry’s highest performing SiC technologies for high-power applications.

Assortment

As a pioneer in silicon carbide semiconductors, we now field the world’s broadest, most capable portfolio of next-generation, SiC-based MOSFETs, Schottky diodes and power modules for power and industry needs.

Capacity

We are the only vertically-integrated semiconductor manufacturer and control 100% of our SiC material supply. We doubled our production capacity in 2018, are on track to double capacity again by the end of 2020, and have committed $1 billion to grow SiC wafer and device production capacity 30-fold by 2024.