Hello everyone, hope you are keeping healthy. This is Kondo, working at Renesas Electronics Europe located in Germany/Dusseldorf. I’m responsible for the technical marketing of power devices and directly supporting new device promotion and customer technical troubleshooting in Germany.
We have, in the past blog, introduced Renesas power devices in series. The last time was the introduction of development activities for power devices for xEV powertrain application (please refer to the link). This time, let me introduce the xEV market status in Europe, one of the most active areas, and our promotional activities.
Power device is one of the key parts which contributes to the Electrification in xEV, which is just in a drastic variation once in a century. Then, what/how can Renesas support our customer (OEM/Tier 1/Tier 2) with differentiation towards the upcoming explosive ramp-up?
Customer’s Expectation 1: “High Efficiency” & ”Hard to Break” Car Design！
- Power consumption: The lower power loss device (= higher efficiency) in the motor inverter directly supports enabling the Li-ion battery to save charged battery capacity. In other words, the performance directly affects performance on the necessary Li-ion battery size which is the dominant cost factor, or on the maximum driving range which is an important Key Buying Factor (KBF) for the end customer.
- Reliability: In order to maximize the module maker’s added value such as high reliability and high heat dissipation, the interface specifications of top- / bottom-metallization on semiconductor need to be sensitively adjusted to a customer's assembly method, like wire bonding, soldering or even sintering.
- Robustness: Robust design in conversion/control of huge power (e.g., >100kW), knowledge and experience of power semiconductors is essential. We are continuously in an optimization phase through deep collaboration with inverter/module manufacturers.
Renesas’ Response 1: Low Loss & High Robustness Power device
The design of a power device is optimized by so complicated and sensitive trade-off parameters to fulfill the market requirement like loss, reliability, robustness, and so on that much of experience/know-how is needed. The feature of the Renesas power device is to realize the highest performance in W/W with keeping enough robustness. This value is admitted by our customers, and as a result, our device is applied by W/W customers’ vehicles. We will introduce the details of our power device feature in the next blog from the designer’s view. You can look forward to it.
Customer’s Expectation 2: Preparing for Explosive Ramp-up
It is also a remarkable point that OEMs paying attention to keeping the supply channel and the stable production for upcoming explosive ramp-up, and accordingly, value/expectation on semiconductors is getting higher. From a Business Continuous Management (BCM) point of view, OEMs tend to apply multi-source policies even in semiconductor suppliers. At the same time, stable production support is also being emphasized in the face of ramp-up, such as annual production of 10-thousands to millions of vehicles. For example, enhanced screening in the upstream process or even lot traceability of shipment parts is admitted as added value. Thus, such stable supply capacity and table production support are becoming a new Key Buying Factor (KBF) in addition to conventional factors like prices, performance and quality, which are generally regarded as mandatory.
Renesas’s Response 2: Mass Production Support by Advanced Screening Technology
Renesas is leading screening technology in wafer tests. The screening of potential defects in power devices, which can only be detectable by dynamic stress tests, requires know-how and high technology in wafer tests. On the other hand, if a failure occurred at the customer’s module test, it takes several tens of times the scrap cost. Therefore it is admitted by customers as an added value.
Thank you so much for having a look at this blog. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in our power device.
And, there is more to come in this blog series. See you next time!