ZF SIGNS MULTI-YEAR SUPPLY AGREEMENT WITH ST MICROELECTRONICS FOR SILICON CARBIDE DEVICES
ST’s silicon carbide devices will be integrated in ZF’s future modular inverter platform, going into series production in 2025 in automotive sector.
The technology group ZF will, from 2025, purchase silicon carbide devices from STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications. Under the terms of the multi-year contract, ST will supply a volume of double-digit millions of silicon carbide devices to be integrated in ZF’s new modular inverter architecture going into series production in 2025. ZF will leverage ST’s vertically integrated silicon carbide manufacturing in Europe and Asia to secure customer orders in electromobility.
“With this strategically important step, we are strengthening our supply chain to be able to securely supply our customers. Our order book in electromobility until 2030 now amounts to more than thirty billion euros. For this volume, we need several reliable suppliers for silicon carbide devices,” says Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF Board of Management responsible for electromobility as well as materials management.
ST will manufacture the silicon carbide chips at its production fabs in Italy and Singapore with packaging of the chips into STPAK, an ST-developed advanced package, and testing at its back-end facilities in Morocco and China.
ZF can connect a variable number of such devices together to match customers’ performance requirements
ST will supply ZF from 2025 with a volume of double-digit millions of third generation silicon carbide MOSFET devices. ZF can connect a variable number of such devices together to match customers’ performance requirements without changing the design of the inverter. Among others, ZF will use the technology in inverters for vehicles of a European car manufacturer whose production start is planned for 2025.
The inverter is the brain of electric drivetrains. It manages the flow of energy from battery to e-motor and vice versa. Inverters have become more efficient and more complex with every development step. The combination of the inverter design and the semiconductors, like silicon carbide, is the key to improving electric vehicle performance. Silicon carbide devices significantly reduce power losses in electric car inverters, as well as in wind turbine and photovoltaic inverters. Devices made with silicon carbide have decisive advantages over conventional silicon-based products, such as higher efficiency, power density and reliability. At the same time, they enable smaller and more cost-effective system designs. Simply put, an electric vehicle charges faster, drives further and has more space when equipped with silicon carbide-based semiconductors.