The European Green Deal strives for sustainable mobility and efficient use of resources. HiEFFICIENT will work towards these goals to develop the next generation of wide-bandgap semiconductors (WBG) for smart mobility.
Today, the applicability of WBG semiconductors in electrified vehicles has been demonstrated but only few manufacturers are making use of these devices, using Silicon Carbide (SiC) but as yet not Gallium Nitride (GaN). To boost this development and the market introduction in automotive applications, HiEFFICIENT partners have set ambitious goals to gain higher acceptance and achieve the maximum benefit in using WBG semiconductors.
To accomplish these goals, the project partners will work on industrial use cases to demonstrate the key achievements and the progress that goes beyond state of the art. This includes, amongst others, modular inverters with different voltage levels (such as 48 V and 400 V), flexible on- and multi-use off-board chargers for different voltage levels, multi-purpose DC/DC converters and test systems for power electronics’ lifetime testing. These use cases are led by OEMs and other industrial partners, who define requirements and specifications for the envisioned systems. The project work starts at component-level, developing highly integrated GaN and SiC devices and is followed by multi-objective design optimization and virtual prototyping. High integration means big challenges in thermal management, which will be addressed by the development of advance cooling concepts, and modularity for the sake of maintainability and flexibility for future applications. Finally, the demonstrators are integrated in relevant environments to prove the concepts and the applicability for future use.
HiEFFICIENT will introduce highly advanced, integrated, and reliable WBG technologies to the automotive market, fulfilling the highest reliability and performance requirements the automotive industry is used to. Therefore, the complete value chain – from the semiconductor manufacturers to the module integrators and system suppliers, and the OEM’s themselves – collaborate within this project to tackle the challenges in a comprehensive manner. The project results will have a significant impact on all levels along the value chain. It will strengthen Europe’s semiconductor industry due to innovative devices, such as the first GaN-based SoC half-bridge for 650 V. It will also impact Europe’s automotive industry by introducing highly energy-efficient and reliable power electronics to all types of electrified vehicles and charging infrastructure. And lastly, it will also help strengthening Europe’s universities and RTOs by significantly extending their knowledge and expertise in power electronics integration and advanced cooling concepts.