Wide-band gap semiconductors based on SiC and GaN have been in the market for more than five years now, but recently, interest has increased for automotive applications as Hybrid Electric Vehicles/Electric Vehicles (HEV/EV) have become more prevalent. Components based on this technology are more efficient than conventional silicon-based components, and can reduce system cost by as much as 6% and system size by up to 50%. All this is great news for OEMs in the battle to lose weight. Toyota, the pioneer of electrification, is already testing SiC components in the powertrain of its Camry HEV.
At the semiconductor level, traditional power IC suppliers such as Cree, Rohm, NXP/Freescale, Microsemi, Infineon, and ON Semiconductor are investing in these technologies.
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