Nexperia has announced a deal with Ricardo to produce a technology demonstrator for an EV inverter based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology.

GaN is the preferred switch for these applications as GaN FETs lead to systems with greater efficiencies at lower costs with improved thermal performance and simpler switching topologies. In automotive terms this means that the vehicle has a greater range. GaN is now on the brink of replacing SiC or silicon based IGBTs as preferred technology for the traction inverters used in plug-in hybrids or full battery electric cars, the two comapnies said.

Nexperia announced a range of AEC-Q101-approved GaN devices last year, providing automotive designers with a wider range of proven, reliable devices for technology providing the power density required for electrification of the powertrain.

Michael LeGoff, general manager GaN, Nexperiasaid: "By designing our GaN devices into an inverter and trialling them through Ricardo, we will be able to better understand how a vehicle can be driven safely and reliably. We are developing a real solution that I think a lot of automotive designers will be interested in having a look at and will find extremely advantageous."