Nexperia Announces New GaN Technology Partnership for EV Development

April 24, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

Dutch semiconductor manufacturer Nexperia teams up with China’s United Automotive Electronic Systems Co. on a new program to develop GaN-based power systems for electric vehicles.

Nexperia announced a new technology development program with China-based United Automotive Electronics Systems (or UAES) focused on producing Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based semiconductor devices for automotive applications.

The Netherlands-based, China-owned semiconductor company is known for its high-volume production across six key product areas: Bipolar transistors, ESD protection devices, diodes, GaN FETs, MOSFETs, and analog and logic integrated circuits. UAES is China’s leading automotive parts manufacturer, focusing on powertrain, engine management, transmission control, body electronics, and hybrid and electric drive control systems. The firm is a joint venture of Germany-based Robert Bosch and China’s Zhonglian Automotive Electronics Co.


Image courtesy of Nexperia
Image courtesy of Nexperia


hrough the new partnership, UAES and Nexperia will join forces to develop new automotive systems using GaN technology, which is used to achieve the high power efficiency needed for advanced automotive applications. UAES already uses Nexperia’s GaN FETs in R&D projects involving vehicle-mounted chargers and high-voltage DC-DC converters for EVs.

In the announcement, an unnamed UAES spokesperson said the partnership would allow the company to “reduce the number of devices used, reduce costs, increase power density, and increase the reliability and effectiveness of the entire system.”

Paul Zhang, general manager and senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nexperia China, noted the critical role silicon-based GaN field-effect transistors play in vehicle electrification, with high-energy density and enhanced efficiency. He added that the partnership would enable both companies to deliver more advanced and efficient EV power system solutions to their respective customers. 

The new partnership comes after Nexperia announced in February that it would be ramping up its R&D and global production spending, investing 9% of its sales into new product development at its facilities in Asia and Europe. It would also add new 200mm technologies to its wafer fab sites in Germany and England. 

Zhang said Nexperia plans to expand its existing R&D and production investments and jointly create a new laboratory to develop automotive GaN technology applications.

Separately, UAES recently opened a new SiC (Silicon Carbide) laboratory with Japanese power giant ROHM. Located at UAES’s headquarters in Shanghai, the facility was built to expand both parties’ SiC power device development for automotive applications.