The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity in gallium nitride (GaN) battery chargers is driven by the increasing demand for EVs, and smaller, lighter, and more efficient battery designs, and growing importance of technologies such as  gallium oxide (Ga2O3) transistors, GaN-on-silicon (Si) transistors, integrated circuits, and wireless charging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.7 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Batteries in automotive: GaN battery chargersBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over one million patents to analyze innovation intensity for the automotive industry, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

GaN battery chargers is a key innovation area in batteries

GaN battery chargers refer to battery charging devices that utilize gallium nitride semiconductor technology in their design. GaN is known for its superior electrical properties, such as high electron mobility and low power losses, which make it suitable for efficient power conversion in battery chargers. These chargers can provide faster charging speed, higher power density, and improved energy efficiency compared to traditional chargers.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of GaN battery chargers.

Key players in GaN battery chargers – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to GaN battery chargers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Hyundai Mobis 12 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 39 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 8 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 24 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 86 Unlock Company Profile
Valeo 6 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 21 Unlock Company Profile
BYD 24 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Geely 4 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 147 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 45 Unlock Company Profile
Lear 18 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 27 Unlock Company Profile
Renault 84 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 4 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 39 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 6 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Electronics 17 Unlock Company Profile
LS Electric 7 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 12 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 6 Unlock Company Profile
Boeing 5 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 17 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 5 Unlock Company Profile
Continental 13 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 117 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 38 Unlock Company Profile
Ford Motor 17 Unlock Company Profile
BRUSA Elektronik 11 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen VMAX New Energy 12 Unlock Company Profile
Wisk Aero 9 Unlock Company Profile
Havelaar Canada Industrial R & D Laboratory 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hyundai Motor is one of the leading patent filers  in GaN battery chargers. One of the latest patents granted to the company was for a new charger that uses gallium nitride and can charge an electric vehicle battery in half the time of a conventional charger. Some other key patent filers in this space include Kia Motors and Toyota Motor.

In terms of application diversity, Hitachi leads the pack, while Sharp and Panasonic stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Mitsubishi Electric held the top position, followed by Wisk Aero and Sumitomo.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.