Power Integrations Adds 900V ICs for EV, Industrial Applications
At APEC this week, Power Integrations announced a new line of 900-volt GaN ICs.
At the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) this week in Orlando, California-based Power Integrations announced it’s adding new 900-volt (V) gallium nitride (GaN) integrated circuits to its family of InnoSwitch3 flyback switcher ICs.
Power Integrations recently released new InnoSwitch3-AQ ICs for automotive-qualified customers. Image used courtesy of Power Integrations
Equipped with the company’s high-efficiency PowiGaN switches, the ICs can deliver up to 100 watts with 93% efficiency—reducing the need for heat sinks and simplifying design in space-limited applications. With light-load efficiency, the InnoSwitch3 series is particularly suited for auxiliary power in electric vehicles with 400 V bus systems, the typical voltage for EV power supply systems. The 900 V PowiGaN switch offers enhanced efficiency over silicon-based converters.
The new GaN-based ICs also serve other markets beyond EVs that require more power and efficiency, including appliances, three-phase motors, and auxiliary power supply units for servers. Power Integrations’ new 900 V parts are compatible with 725 V and 750 V InnoSwitch-EP parts and offer a better safety margin.
Power Integrations’ newly launched InnoSwitch3-EP device targets the industrial market. Image used courtesy of Power Integrations
Peter Vaughan, Power Integrations’ director of automotive business development, mentioned in the announcement that the 900 V PowiGaN switch accommodates inductive noise spikes but can operate as low as 30 VDC, meeting the requirements for functional safety active discharge.
For industrial customers looking to use the product on open-frame power supplies and other applications, the new InnoSwitch3-EP devices (pictured above) start at $2 for 10,000-unit quantities. Exact pricing isn’t publicly available for the automotive-targeted product, InnoSwitch3-AQ.
#APEC2023 is here! We are excited to show you all of our newest innovations, including 900 V PowiGaN solutions for automotive and industrial applications. Watch the video and see what you can expect at Booth 708: pic.twitter.com/qmKFtn5YMT— Power Integrations (@PwrInt) March 22, 2023
Keeping Up With Demand
Capable of delivering 100 watts from a 400 V bus, InnoSwitch-AQ serves the demand for most EVs currently on the market. According to Power Integrations’ announcement, its performance and protection features are comparable to the 1700 V silicon carbide InnoSwitch3-AQ ICs used in 800 V systems.
A schematic for the InnoSwitch-AQ IC, designed for automotive applications. Image used courtesy of Power Integrations
However, the product comes as many automakers are developing new 800 V systems and advancing power stages with onboard charging, aiming to extend driving range while reducing charging time. Though 400 V is the current industry standard in most existing EVs for consumer-targeted passenger cars, more automakers are unveiling 800 V systems.
Hyundai, Kia, Audi, Porsche, and Lotus already offer an 800 V electrical architecture in some of their EV models, and Lucid Motors’ Air EV uses a charging system exceeding 900 V. Tesla is reportedly considering an 800-V system for its Cybertruck and Semi vehicles. Lexus and Toyota finished developing an 800-V system last year, according to reporting from Green Car Reports. Rivian and Volvo are also exploring 800-V architectures.
Expanding Further Into the EV Market
Power Integrations, which is publicly traded, primarily sells to customers in communications, computer, consumer, and industrial end-markets. According to its latest annual report, the latter two segments accounted for 33% and 36% of its revenue in 2022, respectively, while communications claimed 21% of the mix and computers took a 10% share.
A schematic for the InnoSwitch-EP IC, targeting industrial applications. Image used courtesy of Power Integrations
Facing growing demand for advanced high-voltage products, Power Integrations has expanded its industrial segment to automotive customers. In a recent investor presentation, the company estimated that these two segments would account for 38% of its revenue mix in 2027. In the coming years, it plans to introduce more power supplies, charging, and main inverter products for the EV market. It is also expanding into renewable energy, offering products for high-voltage direct current transmission systems and energy efficiency applications.