Electronics and Semiconductors

Building an EV inverter 6x smaller than Tesla Motors'

08 November 2023
A Tesla 3 EV inverter without diamonds stands next to a diamond EV inverter, which is said to be six times smaller. Source: Diamond Foundry

Diamond Foundry, a manufacturer of single crystal diamond technology, has created what it claims is the first electric vehicle (EV) inverter using diamond wafer technology.

According to the company, the diamond-based EV inverter is six times smaller than that of a Tesla 3 EV inverter and delivers more power.

The compact feature is created by a smart design through diamond wafers in composition with established silicon carbide (SiC) dies.

Why it matters

EV demand is higher than ever in its history specifically due to the adoption of Tesla brand vehicles, consumers wanting a clean energy choice and the automotive OEM transition to electrification with most, if not all, their fleets in the next 10 to 15 years.

This has led to the adoption of SiC-based power modules and SiC-based inverters for higher efficiency and higher power designs inside these cars. Additionally, the move to develop renewable energy sources is also driving demand for SiC semiconductors.

After years of development, the wide bandgap technology is finally soaring and semiconductor firms, automotive OEMs, energy companies and those developing products for both markets are looking to secure capacity in the SiC sector.

Deals include semiconductor firms matching with automotive OEMs to secure supply while other deals include electrification automotive module makers teaming up with chipmakers. Meanwhile, wafer makers and foundries are in the mix offering deals to secure capacity to anyone looking for supply.

Thermal extreme

According to Diamond Foundry, power semiconductors are driven by two factors: thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity. The electrical path has been in development for decades; however, thermal conductivity has been more of a challenge.

The company’s diamond-based inverter merges the technology with extreme thermal performance coupled with extreme electrical insulation. Diamond Foundry said this creates diamond wafers that are not just cost-efficient but open new ways to design power electronics, like the diamond inverter.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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