18 March 2020
VisIC launches 100kW motor inverter reference design for 800V power-bus based on D3GaN
VisIC Technologies Ltd of Nes Ziona, Israel – a fabless developer of power conversion devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) metal-insulator-semiconductor high-electron-mobility transistors (MISHEMTs) for the automotive, data-center and industrial markets – has cooperated with the University of Texas at Austin to develop a 100kW inverter reference design that can be used as a base for a 800V power-bus motor inverter in electric vehicle (EV), industrial, PV and other applications.
Wide-bandgap (WBG) power technology is fast becoming the technology of choice to replace silicon in EV motor drives to achieve better efficiency. It is commonly viewed that GaN technology will be used primarily in the 400V power-bus due to its lower cost compared with other WBG technologies, and silicon carbide (SiC) is commonly used in the high-voltage 800V power-bus for higher-power applications. VisIC says that the new 100kW inverter reference design proves that GaN technology can also be used in the 800V power-bus applications, producing the most cost-effective solution for both the 400V and 800V EV power-bus.
Based on VisIC’s unique D3GaN technology, the 100kW inverter reference design can be adapted to work both under 800V and 900V power-bus. The firm says that the GaN devices have highly thermally efficient SMD packaging, high threshold voltage, fast switching and easy paralleling for what is claimed to be most cost-effective, highly efficient and reliable inverter solution for EVs.
The estimated peak efficiency can reach 99.3% with 40kHz switching frequency, due to the low switching losses of D3GaN devices. The total dimension is 26.9cm x 21.4cm x3.5cm with liquid cooling heatsink. The power density is 50kW/liter including the liquid cooling. The total weight is about 2.5kg.
“Previously GaN has demonstrated its superior performance in achieving high power density for chargers,” says Dr Alex Huang, director of The Semiconductor Power Electronics Center at University of Texas at Austin. “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,” he comments.
“We are very happy with the cooperation with University of Texas as they’ve shown professional power design and innovative system solution,” says VisIC’s chief technology officer Gregory Bunin. “This breakthrough will also enable the 800V EV power-bus to benefit from the GaN low-cost and high-efficiency technology and provide cost-effective EV cars.”
As the IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC 2020) in New Orleans (15-19 March) has been cancelled, the inverter reference design is now planned to be displayed in booth 9-137 at PCIM 2020 (Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion) in Nuremberg, Germany (28-30 July).