Airbus and STMicroelectronics team up on power electronics
Airbus and STMicroelectronics have signed an agreement to cooperate on power electronics R&D to support more efficient and lighter power electronics for future hybrid-powered aircraft and full-electric urban air vehicles.
The collaboration builds on evaluations already conducted by both companies to explore the benefits of wide bandgap semiconductor materials for aircraft electrification. Wide bandgap semiconductors like silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) have superior electrical properties compared with traditional semiconductors like silicon. They enable the development of smaller, lighter and more efficient high-performance electronic devices and systems, particularly in applications requiring high power, high frequency, or high-temperature operations.
The cooperation will focus on developing SiC and GaN devices, packages, and modules adapted for Airbus’ aerospace applications. The companies say that they assess these components by conducting advanced research and tests on demonstrators, such as e-motor control units, high and low-voltage power converters, and wireless power transfer systems.
“This collaboration with STMicroelectronics, a global leader in power semiconductors and wide bandgap technologies, will be key to support Airbus’ electrification roadmap,” says Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer, in a press release. “Leveraging their expertise and experience in power electronics for automotive and industrial applications with our own record in aircraft and VTOL electrification will help us accelerate the development of the disruptive technologies required for the ZEROe roadmap and CityAirbus NextGen.”
“Aerospace is a highly demanding market with specific requirements. Cooperating with Airbus, a global leader in this industry, gives us the opportunity to define together new power technologies the industry needs to realise its decarbonisation goals,” adds Jerome Roux, President, Sales & Marketing, STMicroelectronics.