Bosch is launching production of microchips made of silicon carbide (SiC), respesenting a technological leap forward in electromobility.
Compared to the silicon chips used to date, SiC semiconductors have better electrical conductivity. This enables higher switching frequencies while also ensuring that much less energy is dissipated in the form of heat.
“Silicon carbide semiconductors bring more power to electric vehicles. For motorists, this means a 6% increase in range,” Bosch board member Harald Kroeger said on Monday.
Bosch will make the silicon carbide chips at its existing plant in Reutlingen, executives said at an event to update on progress in building a new, 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion), chip fabrication plant in Dresden.
The Dresden ‘fab’ will use wafers with a diameter of 300 mm - making it possible to cram more chips onto a single wafer than existing production methods using diameters of 150-200 mm.
The plant is expected to start working in the spring of 2020.
Bosch is as a supplier of the full range of semiconductor products for the electric, connected and self-driving cars of the future.
Bosch ranked as the sixth-largest supplier on the $38 billion automotive semiconductor market last year with a share of 5.4%, according to Strategy Analytics. The market leader was NXP on 12%, followed by German competitor Infineon on 11.2%.