Diamond Foundry (DF) of San Francisco, CA, USA has created an electric car inverter leveraging its diamond wafer technology to enable greater efficiency.
Tesla led the power electronics revolution in electric cars by leading the adoption of silicon carbide. But the new power electronics unit is reckoned to be six times smaller than that of a Tesla 3 while delivering more power more efficiently. This level of miniaturization is enabled through a design enabled by diamond wafers in combination with established silicon carbide dies.
The design of power semiconductors is essentially driven by two factors: thermal conductivity – the path to cool them down – and electrical conductivity – the path to carry high currents. Though the electrical path has been worked on for many years more or less successfully, the thermal path has always been the main challenge. Further, power semiconductors need to be isolated from the rest of the environment because of safety required with high voltages. Voltage isolation barriers usually demonstrate poor thermal conductivity.
The firm says that diamond wafers can now be employed using two of its extreme properties: extreme thermal performance plus extreme electrical insulation. It adds that the advent of cost-efficient diamond wafers creates fundamental new design opportunities for power electronics that were not possible before.