Within a 10-year perspective, the project aims to develop compact, energy efficient, intelligent multi-chip modules for high temperatures and high power, with integrated control electronics, sensors and switches in silicon carbide for electric motor control in electric and hybrid vehicles.
Modules based on SiC devices enable extremely low losses and increased working temperatures. This provides a more efficient, more compact electric energy system which is easier to operate.
In addition to the internal combustion engine, hybrid vehicles must also accommodate power electronics, devices for storage of energy and one or more electric motors. This places new demands on reduction of weight and volume of these units with regard to cost and functionality of the vehicle. The DC / AC converter for electric motor operation is responsible for most of the extra weight and bulk. The converter must be placed near the electrical engine to reduce the parasitic inductances and cable length. This raises the requirements on integration of electronics and engine. This is hampered by the low maximum working temperature (150 °C) for Si-based electronics that need forced cooling. Coolers and liquid cooling are costly and increase the weight and volume of electric cars.
The next generation of power modules for motor operation should be based on SiC and contain control electronics and key protection and diagnostic functions integrated in the module. This enables extremely compact systems and implementation of computer-embedded systems.
During the first three years, the focus is to demonstrate mixed analog and digital integrated circuits in SiC operating at temperatures up to 300 °C.
Electric vehicle, Integrated circuit, SiC