ROHM, Mazda and Imasen sign a joint agreement to develop

Santa Clara, Calif. and Kyoto, Japan, Nov. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ROHM Semiconductor today announced that it has signed a joint development agreement with Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) and Imasen Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (Imasen) for inverters and SiC power modules for use in electric propulsion units of electric vehicles, including the e-Axle.

As the “heart of the electric vehicle“, e-Axle integrates a motor, gearbox and inverter into a single unit which plays an important role in determining the driving performance and power conversion efficiency of electric vehicles. . SiC MOSFETs in particular are expected to further improve efficiency.

ROHM will carry out joint development of inverters for e-Axle by participating in a “cooperative framework for the development and production of electric drive units” with companies such as Imasen and led by Mazda. At the same time, ROHM will contribute to the creation of industry-leading high-efficiency compact power units by developing and supplying advanced SiC power modules that offer improved performance.

Through this collaboration, ROHM will develop even more competitive MOSFETs and SiC modules by working backwards from the finished vehicle to understand the performance and optimal control method required for power semiconductors.

In addition to creating new value through mutual understanding between car and appliance manufacturers, the three companies also support technical innovation in the automotive field and contribute to a sustainable society by leveraging knowledge, technologies and extended products acquired globally.

Ichiro Hirose, Director and Senior Managing Director; R&D, Cost Innovation and Innovation Oversight, Mazda Motor Corporation
“We are delighted to collaborate on the development and production of e-Axle with ROHM, which hopes to create a sustainable mobility society through outstanding semiconductor technologies and advanced system solution development capabilities, to co-creating a new value chain that directly connects semiconductor devices and vehicles in both directions as electrification brings us closer to carbon neutrality.By partnering with like-minded companies, Mazda is committed to injecting “driving fun” into every product, including electric vehicles.”

Katsumi Azuma, Director and Senior Executive and Chief Operating Officer, ROHM Co., Ltd.
“We are extremely pleased to be working together on the development and production of the e-Axle with Mazda, who are committed to delivering ‘driving pleasure’ that expresses the cars’ inherent appeal. Through this partnership, we hope that by reflecting the real requirements and demands in our products, we can develop automotive systems that contribute to decarbonization while allowing us to better understand Mazda’s goal of creating sustainable cars with the earth and society. As the role of semiconductors in the automotive market continues to grow, ROHM will strive to manufacture high quality products and contribute to the creation of a sustainable mobility society by offering a wide range of solutions.

Reference information
Like semiconductors, ROHM’s flagship products, play an increasingly important role in achieving a carbon-free society, improving the efficiency of motors and power supplies in particular – which would be responsible for the major part of the world’s electricity consumption – has become a major mission of ROHM.

In this context, ROHM has formulated a management vision for 2020: ‘We focus on electrical and analog solutions and solve social problems by contributing to our customers’ needs for “energy saving” and “miniaturization” of their products.And to contribute more to society, ROHM will clarify the direction that ROHM should take while raising awareness among all Group employees.

For electric vehicles, more compact, efficient and lightweight electric systems are being developed with the aim of becoming carbon neutral. Especially for electric vehicles, the inverter, which plays a central role in the drive system, needs to be made more efficient to extend the range and reduce the size of the on-board battery, thereby increasing expectations on SiC power devices.

As the first vendor in the world to launch mass production of SiC MOSFETs in 2010, followed by the first complete SiC power modules in 2012 and trench-type SiC MOSFETs (3rd Generation) in 2015, ROHM continues to develop industry-leading SiC device technologies.

In 2020, ROHM completed the development of its latest (4e generation) SiC MOSFETs that provide improved short-circuit withstand time as well as the lowest ON resistance in the industry, helping to extend the range of electric vehicles by reducing power consumption by 6% compared to to IGBTs (as calculated by the international WLTC fuel efficiency test standard) when installed in the main inverter. In addition to bare chips, ROHM is currently developing products with discrete packages, and this collaboration will allow the company to develop and offer power modules equipped with the latest (4e Generation) SiC MOSFET.

Supporting Information
An overview of SiC power devices that includes SiC MOSFETs, SiC SBDs, and SiC power modules (along with various supporting content that provides an introduction and allows for a quick evaluation of 4e Generation of SiC MOSFETs) are available on the dedicated ROHM SiC webpage:

Support content for ROHM 4e Generation of SiC MOSFETs

  • Presentation, product videos
  • Application Notes (Product Overview and Evaluation Information, Traction Inverters, On-Board Chargers, SMPS)
  • Design models (SPICE, PLECS, 3D CAD data of packages, footprints, etc.)
  • Key Application Simulation Circuits (ROHM Solution Simulator)
  • Information on the evaluation committee
  • Joint agreement ROHM, Mazda and Imasen

  • Comparison of electricity consumption


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