Unlocking EV & HEV Power & Efficiency Potential with $10 Million

October 11, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Silicon Mobility, a full stack semiconductor technology player powering control solutions for a cleaner, safer and smarter mobility, has announced the completion of its $10 million Series B funding led by Capital-E and Cipio Partners including undisclosed private industry investors.

While the electric and hybrid vehicle market is making serious inroads into mass-market adoption, there are still significant limitations in efficiency and performance due to use of traditional software-based semiconductors.

These traditional solutions designed for gas powered vehicles have legacy technology resulting in huge bottlenecks for both power control and data processing, leaving massive untapped potential for electric and hybrid vehicles that go farther, charge faster and have a greater impact on environmental conservation.

Silicon Mobility has invented a new semiconductor architecture engineered specifically for electric and hybrid vehicles of today and tomorrow, unlocking true power and processing potential, the OLEA® Field Programmable Control Unit (FPCU).

Inverters & DC-DC Converters

Current ratings of inverters and dc-dc converters can be improved with OLEA® using soft-switching.

Unlike conventional MCUs/DSPs based solutions, OLEA® enables the implementation of Variable PWM frequency which reduces the number of power transistor switching events based on current load, electric motor angle and inverter / e-motor thermal time constants.

Variable PWM frequency increases the output power of the inverter by at least 35% and up to 50% when reducing the switching frequency from 20KHz to 10KHz.

In addition, OLEA® can support very high frequency control-loop to limit torque ripples, current ripples and losses of the electric motor. It's then recommended to control the eMotor with stepped Commands, which at High Speed frequency will deliver a higher power and a better efficiency than conventional "FullWave" commands

And unlike conventional MCUs/DSPs based solutions, OLEA® achieves a significant energy saving on the dc-dc conversion in transient and steady state by first allowing phase shedding over multiple phases according to the current load and second, allowing independent phase current control at 1MHz frequency. Conventional solutions are limited to a slow single control loop for all un-shedded phases.

"We are thrilled about this opportunity to bring our full-stack product to the numerous Tier 1 and OEMs we are engaged with all over the globe in full production," said Bruno Paucard, President and CEO of Silicon Mobility. "With this financing, we are ensuring our ability to meet our customer demand today and fuel our aggressive goals both with geographic expansion and product innovation."

The OLEA Field Programmable Control Unit in addition to a complete suite of supporting products, OLEA® COMPOSER, OLEA® LIB and OLEA® APP deliver huge performance benefits compared to traditional semiconductor solutions.

OLEA® T222 Field Programmable Control Unit (click on image to enlarge)

By using Silicon Mobility solutions, Tier one automotive manufacturers and OEMs dramatically increase the energy efficiency of electrified powertrains by 50 - 70 percent, reduce bill of material by a factor of 2 while cutting months in development cycles. This new financing will allow Silicon Mobility to scale-up with this disruptive solution and meet market demand.

OLEA® T222 is a member of OLEA family, the 1st Field Programmable Control Unit (FPCU) automotive qualified solution. FPCU is a new semiconductor architecture defined as a combination of the hardware flexibility of the AMEC® real-time Control Unit with the software flexibility of a standard processor into a single chip.

AMEC® integrates parallel data paths between acquisition and actuation peripherals and the Flexible Logic Unit (FLU), an automotive specific and robust embedded programmable logic with DSP resources. OLEA® T222 also benefits from SILant®, an ASIL-D functional safety integrated architecture. SILant® raises faults coverage and reliable countermeasures usually provided at chip level as high as application level and without compromising the performances.

FPCU removes software bottleneck by enabling software and hardware execution of high frequency and precise PWM control algorithm while limiting heat dissipation. Using Silicon Mobility's FPCU, user's control command can be programmed in hardware into FLU and delivers the following performances : 40x acceleration of data processing capabilities, Up to 20x faster hard real-time control loop and Up to 180x power consumption reduction.

"Electrification of vehicles is just in its early years and we see much faster cycles than traditionally known in the sector" says Pascal Vanluchene of Capital E. "Customers' feedback is instant and they argue they found what they have been looking for since quite some time. We make a quantum leap in drastically reducing "range anxiety" through formidable energetic gains unknown to the sector so far."