ROHM Semiconductor, a manufacturer of electronic parts, and Vitesco Technologies, a prominent global manufacturer specializing in modern drive technologies and electrification solutions, have jointly announced a long-term supply partnership focused on silicon carbide (SiC). This partnership, valued at over one billion U.S. dollars from 2024 to 2030, builds upon their existing development collaboration that began in 2020.
Under this agreement, Vitesco Technologies will integrate advanced inverters with ROHM’s SiC chips into electric vehicle powertrains. The collaboration aims to meet the demands of two customers who require highly efficient power electronics, specifically for electric car inverters. Vitesco Technologies plans to commence the supply of the initial series project as early as 2024, which is ahead of the original timeline.
SiC devices play a crucial role in designing power electronics with exceptional efficiency, particularly for high voltage applications and vehicles with demanding range targets. Throughout their development partnership, ROHM has further optimized SiC chips for automotive inverters, starting from 2024.
Andreas Wolf, CEO of Vitesco Technologies, emphasized the significance of the supply partnership with ROHM, stating, “The supply partnership agreement with ROHM is an important milestone in securing Vitesco Technologies’ SiC capacities in the coming years. We have had an excellent experience in our development cooperation so far and now look forward to not only continuing it but also intensifying it further.”
Dr. Kazuhide Ino, Member of the Board, Managing Executive Officer, and CFO of ROHM Co. Ltd., expressed his confidence in the SiC market and highlighted the strategic partnership with Vitesco Technologies, stating, “In the high-growth automotive market, SiC is a trailblazer for higher efficiency. With an anticipated market share exceeding 30 percent, we are well-positioned and have gained a strategic partner in Vitesco Technologies to further penetrate the market.”
Silicon carbide is categorized as a wide bandgap semiconductor, known for its wider energy gap between the non-conductive and conductive states of electrons in the material. This characteristic enables SiC chips to offer lower electrical resistance, fast switching with minimal losses in power electronics. Additionally, SiC chips exhibit higher thermal resistance, allowing for increased power density in electronics.
SiC electronics offer reduced conversion losses compared to conventional silicon (Si), particularly at high voltage levels such as 800 V, making SiC inverters more efficient than Si models. Since 800 V is essential for fast and convenient high-voltage charging, SiC devices are at the forefront of a global boom. The decreased conversion losses in the inverter significantly contribute to the overall efficiency and range of electric vehicles. Consequently, the competition for sufficient capacity in components made from this advanced material is highly competitive.