Automotive Supplier Bosch to Make Silicon Carbide Chips

Auto Tech Outlook | Monday, October 14, 2019

The supplier Bosch estimates 370 USD worth of semiconductors are found on average in a vehicle and estimates EVs could more than doubling the total sum by adding a further 450 USD. 

FREMONT, CA: German automotive supplier Robert Bosch will start the production of energy-efficient microchips specifically for use in electric vehicles (EV) in Germany next year. This initiative will move to address the range of anxiety that discourages many drivers from switching to electric vehicles.

According to Bosch executives, the initial samples from its 150-millimeter wafer plant in Reutlingen will be delivered to potential customers. After three years, it could then find a way into series production EVs.

Silicon carbide is more conductive than the more widely used silicon. Therefore, it will withstand the higher temperatures and voltages found in power electronics, the system responsible for routing electricity back and forth between the battery and the drive train.

Bosch is placing itself as a supplier of the full range of semiconductor products for the electric, connected and self-driving cars of the future. Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are some of the current customers of Bosch. All these companies are expanding their EV lineups to counter Tesla.

Harald Kroeger, a board member of Bosch, said in a statement that for the driver that translates to six percent more range, silicon carbide semiconductors provide higher power for electrical momentum.

This project is the largest for Bosch as an individual project. They are constructing a 300 mm wafer plant in Dresden for one billion Euros. The company is expecting more significant scale effects by packing more chips on one wafer.

According to Strategy Analytics of last year, in the 38 billion USD automotive semiconductor market, Bosch is ranked as the sixth-largest supplier with a share of 5.4 percent.

As per the estimation of suppliers, on an average 370 USD worth of semiconductors are found in a vehicle, and EVs could more than doubling the total sum by adding a further 450 USD. On the other hand, approximately 1,000 USD will make semiconductors a growth opportunity in a car industry struggling with stagnant sales by packing into the future self-driving cars.

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