Onsemi, BMW Enter Into Long-term Supply Agreement

April 02, 2023 by Mike Falter

Onsemi has entered into a long-term supply agreement with BMW Group to supply EliteSiC die for BMW’s electric drivetrains.

Onsemi and BMW have announced a long-term supply agreement where onsemi will provide high voltage, silicon carbide (SiC) EliteSiC die to BWM for application in its EV powertrains.


Onsemi and BMW enter into a supply agreement for EV powertrains. Image used courtesy of onsemi


For BMW, the partnership's goal is to increase the range of its EVs by using customized and highly efficient power FETs based on onsemi’s EliteSiC technology.

Range is everything in EVs, and more miles between charges can be a huge selling point for prospective buyers. An efficient electric powertrain is key, getting the most out of the EV battery pack while allowing for smaller, lighter, and cheaper energy storage solutions. 


EliteSiC Technology

BMW will be using onsemi’s EliteSiC 750 V M3 die in a full bridge power module designed to deliver up to several hundred kWs of power through a 400 V DC drivetrain bus. While 750 V is enough for BMW’s application, onsemi’s EliteSiC MOSFETs are capable of voltages as high as 1700 V, as the company announced earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Onsemi offers its EliteSiC solutions as either discrete FETs or as integrated Power Modules pre-configured in half-bridge (2-pack), 4-pack or 6-pack configurations. A module with six FETs is required to form a complete three-phase EV traction inverter solution.


EV powertrain inverter. Image used courtesy of onsemi


By using wide bandgap, silicon carbide (SiC) materials, onsemi’s SiC FET modules can withstand voltages as high as 1700 V with on-resistances less than 3 mΩ. A low on-resistance means fewer I2R conduction losses during power transfer from the EVs battery pack to its drivetrain, which translates to smaller and lighter battery packs, faster charge times, and longer ranges, exactly what an OEM like BMW is looking for.   

With heat sinking, onsemi’s NVVR26A120M1WSS half-bridge module can accommodate an impressive 400 A of continuous current up to 1200 V with a specified on-resistance of only 2.6 mΩ. At lower voltages, on-resistances can approach the sub 1 mΩ range.


NVVR26A120M1WSS Normalized On−Resistance vs. Current. Image used courtesy of onsemi


NVVR26A120M1WSS EliteSiC half-bridge power module. Image used courtesy of onsemi


EliteSiC products are categorized into three different product families. The M3 family, selected for BMW’s drivetrain, is optimized for hard switching and LLC resonant applications. 


EliteSiC product families. Image used courtesy of onsemi

Along with advanced packaging technologies that allow for higher power densities, new trench cell structures contribute to improved power conversion efficiencies and longer ranges for EVs using EliteSiC.


Strategic Collaboration for EV Performance, Reliability

Onsemi and BWM have been working closely to develop an application-specific solution based on onsemi’s EliteSiC technology that meets the exact needs of BMW’s EV drivetrain. This strategic collaboration results in a solution with optimal size and layout that maximizes the performance and reliability of BMW's EVs. 


Charging a BMW EV. Image used courtesy of BMW

BMW is committed to the electrification of its vehicle lineup and considers this evolution an essential component of its overall product strategy. According to the company, BMW Group is targeting 50% of its vehicle deliveries to be electric by 2030, with more than 10 million cumulative EVs shipped by that same year.

The latest supply agreement follows an announcement by onsemi this past January for a similar strategic collaboration with VW.