Automotive supplier Onsemi will also use its silicon carbide technology in BMW electric cars in the future. The US semiconductor manufacturer has signed a long-term supply agreement (LTSA) with BMW to use its EliteSiC silicon carbide power module in the manufacturer’s future electric cars.
The US semiconductor specialist did not specify the exact number of units or the financial scope of the long-term supply contract in the announcement. Nor does it mention the agreed delivery period or the planned start of delivery.
Not in the New Class
Elsewhere, however, Onsemi was much more specific: the EliteSiC 750 V M3 module is to be used. Interesting is also the statement that the semiconductors are to be installed in the electric drivetrains with 400 volts. This makes it clear that it is not a component for BMW’s New Class, as this is known to be an 800-volt platform. Concrete BMW models are not mentioned.
In the announcement, Onsemi lists the known advantages of silicon carbide semiconductors over those made of pure silicon, such as better efficiency and, thus, lower overall losses. However, as part of the strategic cooperation with BMW in developing and integrating the electric powertrain, it has been able to offer the Munich-based company “differentiated and application-specific solutions”, “including optimized size and arrangement as well as high performance and reliability”.
“With maximum range being a primary consideration for purchasing an EV, Onsemi’s system approach for optimized performance across all of BMW’s electric vehicles provides a key competitive advantage,” said Asif Jakwani, SVP and general manager of Onsemi’s Advanced Power Division.
“In addition, we are able to support the rapidly increasing demand for BMW’s premium EVs by continuously ramping all production steps of our robust, vertically integrated SiC supply chain,” he added.
Onsemi also entered a strategic partnership with Volkswagen at the end of January. Still, the deal with the Wolfsburg-based company is for the EliteSiC 1200 V power module. Kia also relies on SiC semiconductors from Onsemi in the EV6 GT. Onsemi will also supply the Hyundai Group with semiconductors for other high-performance EVs.
Onsemi, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona (US), employs 33 000 people worldwide. It started as a spin-off of Motorola in 1999 and went IPO in 2000. It has 43 design centers in 19 countries, 8 solution engineering centers in 5 countries, and 22 manufacturing sites in 10 countries.
In 2016, it acquired Fairchild Semiconductors, and in 2021 it renamed itself from ON Semiconductors to Onsemi. It is now a leading semiconductor manufacturer with over 80 000 different parts and a global supply chain serving tens of thousands of customers.
With a focus on automotive and industrial end-markets, the company is accelerating change in megatrends such as vehicle electrification and safety, sustainable energy grids, industrial automation, 5G, and cloud infrastructure.
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