Marelli, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers (united Calsonic Kansei and Magneti Marelli), announced a strategic partnership with US-based Transphorm, which develops Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology for power electronics.

The interest in Transphorm's GaN power modules is simple - vehicle electrification and related necessity to use efficient and reliable power electronics including power converters, on-board chargers and inverters.

"Transphorm is recognized as leading the Gallium Nitride (GaN) revolution with the highest performance, highest reliability GaN devices for high voltage power conversion applications. They are the leading player in the market with direct experience with GaN in the automotive sector, especially in Japan. Access to their technologies will be of strategic benefit to Marelli, as it looks at ways to grow through innovation within its Electric Powertrain business. Direct investment in power electronics of this kind will mean a substantial step in the evolution of the electric powertrain solutions, with higher efficiency and lower system costs, eventually resulting in benefits for customers and final consumers."

Marelli already is engaged in various EV technologies, including 800 V systems, high revolution speed e-motors and SiC (Silicon carbide) power inverters.

The Gallium Nitride (GaN) EV products might be another serious topic, as Transphorm will now cooperate with Marelli exclusively for two years.

"Through this partnership, Marelli and Transphorm will benefit from knowledge and information exchange for new automotive/EV power conversion solutions including OBCs (on-board chargers), DC-DC Converters and Powertrain Inverters. Working alongside Transphorm engineers, Marelli engineers will be able to use their many years’ experience in manufacturing excellence to advise and guide on product development relevant to its ongoing investment in the development of e-powertrain solutions for electric vehicles and also for motorsport applications. For such joint development and co-working of engineers, Transphorm will exclusively cooperate with Marelli for two years, to enable the development of new technologies for electric vehicles."

Joachim Fetzer, CEO, Electric Powertrain, Marelli, said:

“Electric Vehicle power conversion is fundamentally important to the future of electric vehicles and investment in technologies like this are critical to ensure the very highest performance of electric vehicles at a lower cost. We are delighted to partner with Transphorm, who are true leaders in the market. This partnership allows us to work with the Transphorm team to shape and improve products that will ultimately ensure improved performance, efficiency of power electronics and ultimately lower the cost of electric vehicles”.

Primit Parikh, Co-founder and COO, Transphorm, said:

“Automotive and EVs represent one of the largest opportunities for GaN in power conversion and our partnership with a global leader like Marelli is a strong testament to the quality, reliability, manufacturing and overall product performance of our GaN Solutions. The long-term innovative system level vision of the Marelli Electric Powertrain team will be extremely valuable in furthering GaN in the Electric Vehicle”.

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