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SAL and AKM achieve successful proof of concept for eFuse in high-voltage 800 V automotive applications

Door opener for compact, fast and reliable protec­tion of e.g., on-board char­gers or DC/​DC conver­ters for electric vehi­cles

Asahi Kasei Micro­de­vices Corpo­ra­tion (AKM) and Silicon Austria Labs GmbH (SAL) have success­fully completed a joint proof of concept of the eFuse tech­no­logy in high-voltage appli­ca­tions utili­zing silicon carbide (SiC)-based power devices. The results show that the eFuse tech­no­logy can signi­fi­cantly improve safety, as well as redu­cing mate­rial and main­ten­ance costs of systems such as on-board char­gers (OBC) in auto­mo­biles.

The popu­la­rity of SiC- and gallium nitride (GaN)-based power devices in electric vehi­cles and other high-voltage appli­ca­tions is on the rise. This makes it necessary to replace mecha­nical fuses – which have been utilized with conven­tional silicon (Si) based power conver­ters – in order to imme­dia­tely shut down the system when detec­ting an over­cur­rent, protec­ting the devices and avoiding costly main­ten­ance.

AKM is produ­cing the CZ39, a core­less current sensor with a response time of 100 ns. Its fast response capa­bi­lity and high accu­racy allow for precise detec­tion of over­cur­rents and quick system shut­down. In a joint tech­nical veri­fi­ca­tion toge­ther with the Austrian re­search center SAL, AKM has deve­l­oped the eFuse system which solves the chal­lenges of conven­tional protec­tion systems using mecha­nical fuses. This solu­tion provides the over­cur­rent and short circuit protec­tion required for next-gene­ra­tion high-voltage EV systems with SiC- and GaN-based power devices, such as OBCs. Further­more, the current sensor inte­grated into the eFuse can effi­ci­ently regu­late the current in connected subsys­tems, thereby redu­cing the overall part count.

“With this joint tech­no­logy vali­da­tion, we have set a new stan­dard for eFuse tech­no­logy, and we are proud to combine AKM’s exper­tise with SAL’s re­search capa­bi­li­ties to achieve this inno­va­tive result. We expect that the eFuse tech­no­logy will cont­ri­bute to smaller and lighter EV onboard char­gers,” said Toshi­nori Takatsuka, General Manager of AKM’s current sensor busi­ness.

“By utili­zing the latest AKM current sensing tech­no­lo­gies, we can improve the reac­tion time of eFuses and the protec­tion of wide-bandgap power conver­ters,” said Thomas Lang­bauer, Team Lead within the Power Elec­tro­nics Divi­sion at SAL.

AKM will present the results of the joint re­search with SAL at PCIM Europe 2024 (Nurem­berg, Germany) in June. In addi­tion, the two compa­nies are discus­sing further steps as they anti­ci­pate a posi­tive market impact.

SOURCE: Silicon Austria Labs

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