Onsemi, VW Partner on EV Traction Inverter Development

February 10, 2023 by Mike Falter

Onsemi and Volkswagen announce a strategic partnership to develop electric vehicle traction inverter solutions for VW EVs using onsemi SiC power modules.

Onsemi has announced a strategic partnership with Volkswagen AG (VW) to provide the silicon carbide (SiC) power modules and semiconductors that will enable full traction inverters for VW’s next generation of EVs. The collaboration is intended to optimize performance from the component to sub-system level for both front and rear traction inverters.


Volkswagen ID.4 EV. Image used courtesy of Volkswagen


As part of the agreement, onsemi has committed to delivering its new EliteSiC 1200 V power modules, designed specifically for EV traction inverters. The EliteSiC family will be a series of pin-compatible traction inverter power modules that are scalable to meet the needs of varying EVs and motor types.

Onsemi and VW have been collaborating for over a year on designing the first power modules with pre-production units currently under evaluation.

In addition to the VW partnership, onsemi recently announced that the EliteSiC module had been selected for use in Kia Corporation’s EV6 GT model EV. This vehicle can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.


EliteSiC Power Modules

The EliteSiC modules will be similar in form factor and specifications to the already released NXH010P120MNF1, 1200 V SiC, half-bridge power modules targeted for EV charging and energy infrastructure applications. Each of these power modules consists of two high-voltage SiC MOSFETs in a half-bridge configuration, with the combination of three such modules forming a full, three-phase inverter circuit for driving EV motors.

The 1200 V module can support continuous currents (IDS) up to 114 A and pulsed currents to 342 A and features a low on resistance of 10 mΩ (Typ. @ 25°C) for reduced conduction losses. The FETs require about 10 V at the gate (VGS) to fully conduct at a junction temperature of 25°C with VDS at 20 V.

Onsemi has already announced the release of their EliteSiC MOSFET and Schottky Diode products rated to 1700 V that will likely be used to form a higher voltage, pin-compatible variant of the 1200 V EliteSiC modules.


NXH010P120MNF1 half-bridge functional circuit. Image used courtesy of onsemi


EV three-phase traction inverter with IGBTs. Image used courtesy of onsemi


Power Module Packaging

The 1200 V power module is packaged in a PIM18 33.8x42.5 assembly with 62.8 x 33.8 x 12 mm volume and press-fit pins.

According to onsemi, its innovative package technology minimizes parasitics and thermal resistances, with the improved efficiency translating to smaller and lighter traction inverters that allow for increased EV ranges by up to 5%.


Half-bridge power module package and pins. Image used courtesy of onsemi


VW Looks to Electrification Future

In 2022, VW shipped over 8 million vehicles of all drive types globally. About 527,000 of these vehicles were EVs, up 26% from 2021. VW is the market leader for EVs in Europe, is 4th in the U.S., and in 2022 increased EV deliveries in China by 68 percent.

Like most auto OEMs, VW is committed to the growth of its EV business and is investing in the supply chains and partnerships needed to execute its long-term strategy. The company view’s electrification of its vehicle line-up as critical to its transformation from a car manufacturer to a “software-driven provider of sustainable mobility.”

Onsemi is already a supplier to VW of more than 500 power components, sensors, and other devices from its global network of 19 wafer fabrication and packaging manufacturing sites. The company has developed a fully vertical supply chain from wafer growth to device formation and fully tested commercial products to support its silicon carbide initiatives.