GaN Systems and FTEX Team Up to Deliver EV Motor Drives

August 08, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

GaN Systems is teaming up with precision motor control startup FTEX to deliver GaN-based motor drives for e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds.

Canadian power electronics firms GaN Systems and FTEX recently announced a new partnership to meet the demands of the burgeoning personal electric vehicle market. They’ll combine their hardware and software technologies to create new GaN-based motor drives capable of boosting EV range and power by up to 30%.

GaN Systems and FTEX are teaming up to deliver Gallium Nitride-based motor drives for personal EVs. Image courtesy of FTEX

The new motor drives will integrate GaN Systems’ high-frequency transistors and FTEX’s EV software and hardware platforms. Targeting personal EVs like e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds, GaN Systems’ 100V E-Mode power transistor will provide high power density for FTEX’s Dynamic Drive solid-state transmission system.

The announcement comes a few months after GaN Systems recently expanded its family of 650V transistors, designed for high-power EV applications such as onboard chargers, traction inverters, and DC-DC converters. The Ontario-based company provides GaN power transistors to customers across a range of industries, from EVs to data centers to industrial motors to renewable energy and consumer electronics applications.

The new partnership with FTEX adds a boost to GaN Systems’ ongoing EV market expansion, as customers increasingly prefer high-efficiency, Gallium Nitride-based transistors over traditional silicon-based products.

GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham stated in the announcement that the partnership points to the “growing demand for GaN-based motor control solutions for EVs, from e-bikes to motorcycles to automobiles.”

“By replacing legacy silicon transistors with GaN Systems' transistors, electric powertrain designers can make vast improvements to their EV solutions, including reducing the size of the inverters and converters, increasing power, and maximizing efficiency,” Witham added.

For FTEX, the partnership will bring increased market exposure as it works to solidify its presence in the competitive EV power electronics industry. Founded in 2019, the Quebec-based startup landed its first clients in 2020, completed its debut prototype last December, and finally unveiled its first GaN-based programmable motor controller product earlier this summer.

The company recently landed an investment from Front Row Ventures, a Canadian student-run venture capital fund, and has participated in several startup incubators, including the fall 2020 cohort of the Ecofuel Accelerator, the 2020-2021 cohort of Creative Destruction Labs, and Centech.

In announcing the GaN Systems partnership, FTEX CTO Alexandre Cosneau said FTEX’s hardware gets the best out of GaN Systems’ transistors by focusing on thermal enhancement and high-frequency switching. 

“Our unique design maximizes the transistor performance, increasing efficiency by 2.5% while doubling the power density and reducing the weight by half,” Cosneau added. “GaN Systems is the best at what they do - providing high quality, small form factor power components that enable the next generation of electric vehicles.”