Nidec and Renesas team up on semiconductor solutions for next-gen E-Axle for EVs
Nidec and Renesas are joining forces on the development of semiconductor solutions for a next-generation E-Axle (X-in-1 system) that integrates an EV drive motor and power electronics for electric vehicles (EVs).
Today’s EVs are increasingly adopting the 3-in-1 unit called E-Axle, which integrates a motor, inverter, and gearbox. To realise high-performance and efficiency as well as smaller size, lightweight and lower cost, and to accelerate vehicle development, EVs are also integrating power electronics controls such as DC-DC converters and on-board chargers (OBCs). EV manufacturers in markets such as China have developed an X-in-1 platform that integrates multiple functions, accelerating the adoption in many vehicle models.
As X-in-1 integrates multiple functions and increases in complexity, maintaining a high level of quality in vehicles becomes challenging. To address this the two companies agreed to combine Nidec’s motor technology and Renesas’ semiconductor technology to jointly develop a reliable and high-performance proof of concept (PoC) for the X-in-1 system.
The companies plan to launch the first PoC by the end of 2023, which will feature a 6-in-1 system with a DC-DC converter, OBC, and power distribution unit (PDU) as well as a motor, inverter, and gearbox. As a second phase in 2024, Nidec and Renesas plan to develop a highly integrated X-in-1 PoC that incorporates a battery management system (BMS) along with other components. The first PoC will include power devices based on SiC (silicon carbide), and the second PoC will replace the DC-DC and OBC power devices with GaN (gallium nitride), offering excellent performance in high-frequency operation, to further reduce size and cost.
Building on the PoC developed through this collaboration, Nidec plans to rapidly productise E-Axle systems to add to its portfolio and ramp up to mass production to lead the E-Axle market.
Renesas plans to develop and deliver turnkey solutions for increasingly complex X-in-1 systems by expanding the jointly developed PoC for E-Axle reference designs.