[Introduction]First of all, the development cycle of electric vehicle systems from design concept to product launch is shorter than that of “traditional” vehicles. In addition, these relatively “simple” EV systems compared to ICE systems (engine and transmission) increase competition by allowing non-traditional Tier 1 suppliers to enter the automotive ecosystem.
In the automotive and e-mobility markets, the electrification of passenger and commercial vehicles has brought about dramatic changes in the development of various subsystems.
First, the development cycle from design concept to product launch for electric vehicle systems is shorter than for “traditional” vehicles. In addition, these relatively “simple” EV systems compared to ICE systems (engine and transmission) increase competition by allowing non-traditional Tier 1 suppliers to enter the automotive ecosystem.
To counter the impact of rising costs and maintain control over intellectual property and bill of materials (BOM), many OEMs are building the capability to design, develop and manufacture subsystems in-house. At the same time, traditional Tier 1 suppliers continue to invest in EV systems while competing with new entrants in an attempt to maintain penetration of OEMs.
To maintain partnerships and provide differentiated services, some Tier 1 suppliers integrate multiple key EV system components such as inverters, traction motors and transmissions. Both OEMs and new Tier 1 suppliers need to quickly master system analysis and integration capabilities, especially with regard to functional safety requirements. As a result, they increasingly look to semiconductor suppliers to help them bridge this development and knowledge gap.
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Different automotive subsystems have different requirements for system performance and functional safety. In traction inverter systems, for example, this trend toward boosting functions can maximize efficiency and reduce BOM costs. The emergence of high-performance smart gate drivers can reduce board area and reduce BOM costs while meeting the needs for improved functionality and performance.
Gate drivers such as NXP’s GD3100 and GD3160 are intelligent and allow programming to not only protect SiC or IGBT power devices under harsh operating conditions, but also improve system efficiency and shorten fault detection/reaction times.
GD3160 block diagram
Integrated high-voltage (>1,000Vrms) isolation supports digital reporting of information from the high-voltage (400V to 800V) domain to the low-voltage (12V) domain. These parameters include various fault conditions, power device temperature, and VCE or VGE state of the power device. Enhanced monitoring of different parameters contributes to ASIL D functional safety of electric vehicle systems. Gate driver waveform shaping capabilities, such as segment drivers, allow customers to optimize switching to increase efficiency while preventing overshoot, which reduces EMC noise.
Traction Inverter System Block Diagram
NXP is committed to providing system solutions such as traction inverter reference designs, complete inverter evaluation tools, and functional safety documentation to reduce development costs and speed time to market.
Source: NXP Inn, Original: Namrata Pandya