Vitesco Technologies, ROHM strike long-term SiC semiconductors supply deal
Auto electrification solutions firm Vitesco Technologies has secured strategically important capacities in energy-efficient silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors through a long-term supply partnership with ROHM Semiconductor. The deal is worth over one billion US dollars effective till 2030.
The company's collaboration with ROHM began in 2020. During the existing development partnership with ROHM, the relevant SiC chips were further optimized for use in automotive inverters starting in 2024.
With the latest agreement, Vitesco Technologies' advanced inverters with integrated ROHM SiC chips will be adopted by two customers, to be applied inside electric vehicle powertrains. The supply to the first series project will begin as early as 2024.
"The supply partnership agreement with ROHM is an important building block for securing Vitesco Technologies' SiC capacities in the years ahead," said Andreas Wolf, CEO of Vitesco Technologies, at the signing ceremony in Regensburg.
"We have had very good experience in our development cooperation so far and are now looking forward not only to continuing it, but also to intensifying it further," Wolf added.
SiC devices enable the design of particularly efficient power electronics, such as those needed for electric car inverters. SiC chips are a key technology, particularly for high voltages and for vehicles with demanding range targets and optimum overall efficiency, according to Vitesco.
"In the high-growth automotive market, SiC is a pathfinder for higher efficiency. With an expected higher market share of more than 30 percent, we are strongly positioned here and have gained a strategic partner in Vitesco Technologies for further market penetration," commented Dr. Kazuhide Ino, Member of the Board, Managing Executive Officer and CFO of ROHM Co. Ltd.
Silicon carbide belongs to the so-called 'wide bandgap' semiconductors, whose wide bandgap - the energy gap between the non-conductive state and the conductive state of the electrons in the material - enables lower electrical resistance, fast and low loss switching chips for power electronics.
At the same time, SiC chips are more thermally resistant, so that the power density of electronics can be increased. As an outcome, SiC electronics have reduced conversion losses compared to conventional silicon (Si). Especially at high voltage levels such as 800 V, SiC inverters are more efficient than Si models.
Since 800 V is the prerequisite for fast and convenient high-voltage charging, SiC devices are at the beginning of a worldwide boom, according to Vitesco Technologies.