As start/stop, mild hybrid and multi-voltage systems continue to creep into “conventional” gas vehicles, controls engineering firm Pi Innovo and semiconductor manufacturer GaN Systems foresee steadily growing demand for their products.
The two companies recently announced that they are collaborating to offer automakers a pathway to the electrification of vehicle auxiliary systems.
Hybrids and EVs have substantial requirements for power conversion, and a typical silicon-based converter is no more than 95% efficient, according to Pi Innovo. Gallium nitride semiconductor-based converters can achieve 98 to 99% efficiency.
They also offer other benefits compared to silicon-based devices, including high dielectric strength; high current density; high switching speeds; low on-resistance; and the ability to withstand higher operating temperatures.
Pi Innovo has designed custom motor control electronics to take advantage of the benefits of GaN semiconductors in applications with input voltages from 12 V to 300 V, well suited to the electrification of auxiliary systems in multi-voltage conventional, hybrid-electric and pure electric vehicles.
Pi Innovo is now offering design and development services for customers looking to adopt this technology for electronics design applications in automotive and adjacent markets.
“Pi Innovo’s engineers worked closely with the GaN Systems team to ensure the controller design maximizes the reduction in size, weight and power consumption benefits that gallium nitride semiconductors provide,” said Dr. Walter Lucking, CEO of Pi Innovo.
“Having a partner like Pi Innovo that understands the intricacies of control electronics design for vehicle applications is invaluable in supporting the continued adoption of GaN in the electrification of vehicle systems,” said Jim Witham, GaN Systems’ CEO.