At the end of March, when most parts of the mainland of China were barely warm but still cool, Hainan was already a little sultry, but this did not stop racing enthusiasts from gathering in Sanya. Because the 2018-2019 ABB FIA Formula electric Championship will be staged here. But different from the traditional F1 race, the racetrack here lacks the roar of cars, because electric cars are involved in this series of races.
According to the official information of the competition, ABB FIA electric formula championship is the first and only all electric single seat Racing Championship under FIA. It is not only a breakthrough international top competitive sports event, but also shoulders the responsibility of leading the future development direction of mobile travel and effectively enhancing the public's attention and enthusiasm for electric vehicles.
Back to the race itself, these teams tried various ways to improve the endurance of electric vehicles and the efficiency of electric motors. However, with the support of ROHM, a semiconductor manufacturer, the engineers of Venturi team found the key to the magic box of electric vehicles silicon carbide (SIC).
In an interview with Semiinsights and other media, the team's CTO said that after they adopted ROHM's SiC in their car, they reduced the size of the inverter. Because the race has restrictions on the total weight of the car and the driver, this change gives them more space to do other designs to further enhance the competitiveness of the car.
He further pointed out that with the improvement of the efficiency of SiC devices, higher switching frequency can be achieved, so the efficiency of both inverter and motor can be optimized. This gives them an advantage in the game.
Moreover, because these competitions are held in many places all over the world, some extremely high and low temperature environments will be involved, but electric vehicles using ROHM SiC devices can also work normally in these scenes.
From his introduction, we can see that he highly recognizes SiC technology, but behind these changes are the efforts of many engineers, including ROHM semiconductor engineers.
As the successor of silicon material, wide band gap semiconductor material silicon carbide not only has the advantages of high breakdown electric field strength and good thermal stability, but also has the characteristics of carrier saturation, high drift speed and high thermal conductivity, which makes it used to manufacture a variety of high-frequency, high-efficiency high-power devices with high temperature resistance, and has been applied to a variety of scenes, including inverters and electric vehicles. This huge market potential has attracted many manufacturers to join in, and ROHM semiconductor is one of the leading manufacturers.
According to the observation of Semiinsights, ROHM started related research and development as early as 2000. The company has also built an internal vertical integrated production system covering all aspects of the production and manufacturing of SiC devices, wafers and castings, and successfully developed SiC MOSFET in 2010. It has been revealed that more than 20 automotive customers around the world have used Roma's SiC products. They have also launched a series of SiC products covering 650 to 1700V, including SiC SBD, SiC MOSFET and all SiC modules. Years of research investment has made them become the world's leading supplier of SiC devices. The SiC market is also on the eve of a big explosion driven by manufacturers such as ROHM semiconductor.
According to the prediction of Yole, a well-known international analysis organization, driven by applications such as electric vehicles, the market scale of SiC Power semiconductor will grow to US $1.4 billion by 2023, and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will reach 29% from 2017 to 2023. However, ROHM said that because the major Fabs' judgment on equipment investment is relatively conservative, it is difficult to obtain SiC wafers and the price is still high. In order to change this situation, it is necessary to break through the existing technical bottleneck to form high-quality films in a short time.
With the support of ROHM SiC, Venturi driver Eduardo Motala won the championship in the fifth stage of the fifth season of Formula E in Hong Kong in March this year. In addition to ROHM, other major manufacturers in Europe and the United States are also working hard. We seem to have seen the arrival of a SiC era.
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