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GaN Systems and APEI win $2 million to revolutionise transportation

The US Department of Energy has provided the funding to the firms to design power-saving GaN (gallium nitride) and SiC (silicon carbide) semiconductors for next generation vehicles

GaN Systems has partnered with Arkansas Power Electronics International (APEI) in a successful bid for funding from the $45 million US DoE programme.

The project is aimed at developing new vehicle technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce transportation costs.

The APEI-led team, also including Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc, the University of Arkansas National Centre for Reliable Electric Power Transmission and the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has been awarded $2 million as one of the 38 different projects the DoE is funding across the US.

The team will develop new electric motor traction drives for hybrid electric vehicles based on GaN and silicon carbide SiC power semiconductors. These new technologies will replace traditional silicon semiconductors in automotive power electronics to herald a new generation of highly efficient and lower cost systems.

Girvan Patterson, CEO of GaN Systems comments, ”We’re delighted to be part of the APEI team and to be collaborating on such an important programme. The DoE initiative is a very exciting opportunity for the industry. HEVs are full of power electronics for functions like battery management, auxiliary power, braking, instrument clusters and many more. Over the next few years we will see dramatic improvements in all these systems which will be designed into vehicles such as Toyota’s next generation Prius.”

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