How GaN ICs are Transforming the EV Market

By John Wilson, Senior Product Manager, Silicon Labs, and Philip Zuk, Senior Director of Technical Marketing, Transphorm

As the global energy mix transforms to adopt low-carbon energy sources and energy-efficient transportation, pressure mounts for energy efficient cars. Today, the overall Electric Vehicle (EV) market already outpaces the conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle market growth rate by 10x. The EV market is estimated to own 35 percent share of new vehicle sales by 2040, a remarkable portion of new automotive sales for a market that started mass production less than 10 years ago.

Economics combined with innovations in battery, electronic systems, and system components have played a crucial role in EV growth as the overall automotive industry moves from mechanical-based systems to digital ones. EV manufacturers and designers are embracing digital designs, and Canaccord Genuity projects semiconductor content in EV solutions will increase by as much as 50 percent or more per vehicle by 2025. This paper will examine how galium nitride (GaN) electronics, and to a lesser extent silicon carbide (SiC), are boosting the power output and energy efficiency of electric cars without increasing the cost of the vehicles.

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