GaN Systems and SPARX Advance Gallium Nitride in Electric Vehicles

December 18, 2019 by Paul Shepard

GaN Systems announced that SPARX Group "Mirai Creation Fund II ("Mirai fund")" has made an investment in GaN Systems. Mirai fund provides capital to companies with the goal of accelerating innovation, vehicle electrification being one of the major targets, to generate a "new power" that will shape the future and impact our world. The goals and principles of the fund align well as the automobile industry as a whole is shifting toward a "mobility company" in this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation. Mirai fund's LP investors include Toyota Motor Corporation.

At the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show this October, the All GaN Vehicle was revealed (pictured above). Developed by Nagoya University Institute for Future Materials and Systems and Toyota Advanced Power Electronics Research Division, the All GaN Vehicle features multiple applications of GaN (gallium nitride) in an electric car:

  • In the traction inverter, where GaN improves efficiency by 20 percent extending the driving range of the car on one battery charge;
  • In the dc-dc converter, which allows a 75 percent reduction in size of the system;
  • In the on-board charger;
  • And in the LED lighting, where GaN lights the road during night driving.

The All GaN Vehicle has been spotted driving in and around Tokyo recently which was confirmed in videos playing during the Tokyo Motor Show.

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GaN Systems continues to establish a strong position in the automotive industry with additional customers and strategic investors realizing the value proposition of GaN and using the transistors in EV powertrain applications, namely, traction inverter, on-board charger, and dc-dc converter.

"The combination of confidence in our best-in-class device performance, the release of the industry's highest current rated devices, and our device reliability exceeding the AEC-Q101 automotive industry standards, has contributed to more and more automotive OEMs and Tier 1 companies investing in our company and using our devices," said Jim Witham, CEO for GaN Systems. "It's great to see so many automotive companies taking advantage of the benefits of our GaN as the industry shifts from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles."

"After evaluating a variety of power semiconductor technologies and designs, GaN has emerged as a critical building block for power in automotive applications and our investment in GaN Systems complements our vision to shape the future and impact our world," said Shuhei Abe, President and CEO of SPARX Group.