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EETE SEP 2014

Infineon closes technology gap through International Rectifier takeover By Christoph Hammerschmidt Infineon has anounced to swallow International Rectifier for the amount of $3 billion. With the move, the Munichbased chipmaker intends to close its technology gap in the promising GaN segment. In addition, Infineon hopes to better utilize its 300mm wafer fab in Dresden to capacity. According to an Infineon press release, IR already agreed to the takeover - after all, Infineon’s bid amounted to a sum almost 50% higher than IR’s average combined share price over the past three months. The IR Board of Directors as well as Infineon’s Supervisory Board already approved the transaction. In a press conference, Infineon board member Dominik Asam said the technology roadmaps of both companies are complementary - while Infineon has developed a strong position in the future-prone Silicon Carbide (SiC) technology, International Rectifier is among the world’s leading companies with regards to Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology. Both material combinations are expected to enable the design of highly efficient power semiconductors, which in turn will play a major role in energysaving strategies across all industries. Also in terms of customer structure and product spectrums, the IR takeover closes gaps in Infineon’s lineup. While Infineon in the first place directly serves very large customers (carmakers and automotive suppliers) and is not overly well represented in the distribution channels, IR has strongholds in distribution, addressing lots of small and medium-scale companies as customers. And there is a third aspect where both companies complement each other: Infineon’s focus in terms of products is on high-voltage, high-power devices while IR has a broad spectrum of power semiconductors that address the medium and low voltage / power range. “This holds true for IGBTs as well as for MOSFETs”, Asam said. As a result of the acquisition, the company will be able to broaden its product spectrum and address additional market segments. In addition, the move is expected to generate economies of scale on the manufacturing side. Infineon announced to combine the existing manufacturing capabilities. In practice, this will lead to better utilisation of Infineon’s 300mm wafer fab in Dresden, which is notoriously working below capacity. While the transition will take some time, “the (production) migration will go rather from IR’s fabs to ours”, Asam said. He added that also for power semiconductors, the future would be in 300mm wafer size, one of Infineon’s undisputed strengths in comparison to other power semiconductor manufacturers. The transaction will be paid in cash. Infineon said the company is capable to fund the takeover with just cash-on-hand and fully underwritten credit facilities. BMW invoke fast battery chargers to spark EV sales By Paul Buckley BMW has launched the company’s i DC Fast Chargers, which claim to be capable of charging the BMW i3 all-electric vehicle’s battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes, to help spark growth in the company’s electric vehicle sales drive. The charger, which is the result of a joint development between BMW and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, is aiming to change the face of public charging as the first compact and affordable DC Combo fast charger. BMW has also announced the company’s new ChargeNow DC Fast program in cooperation with NRG eVgo, in which BMW i3 drivers in California can enjoy no cost unlimited 30 minute DC fast charging, at NRG eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging, through 2015. Conventional DC fast chargers are about the size of a standard refrigerator, cost tens of thousands of dollars and require a significant amount of electricity. Half the size of a traditional electric vehicle DC charger measuring 79cm by 48cm wide by 30cm deep and weighing approximately 100 pounds the BMW i DC Fast Chargers can be mounted on a wall, which claims to be a first for electric vehicle DC fast chargers. The BMW i DC Fast Chargers will be priced less than other DC Combo chargers in the market at $6,548 for authorized BMW partners. This is a milestone in the development of the DC fast charging infrastructure. With more than five years of real world experience, we understand that a robust network of publicly available DC Combo Fast Chargers is a key part of the mobility of tomorrow, said Robert Healey, EV Infrastructure Manager, at BMW of North America. BMW is offering the BMW i D for BMW i3 owners. The 24 kW DC Fast Charger feeds the current directly to the vehicles battery, resulting in a more efficient and faster charge. BMW i DC Fast Chargers use the SAE Combo 1 connector, the North American automotive industry standard for fast charging; feature a rugged aluminium IP54 enclosure; meet NEMA 3 requirements; and are designed to perform in extreme weather conditions. Additionally, the BMW i DC Fast Charger is ChargePoint network-enabled, allowing electric vehicle drivers with the SAE Combo 1 inlet to access the BMW i DC Fast Charger using a ChargePoint or ChargeNow card. Major automakers including BMW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have committed to adopting the SAE Combo 1 inlet for DC charging. To make DC fast charging more accessible and, in turn, increasing the adoption of electric vehicles, BMW, in cooperation with NRG eVgo, will offer no cost charging to BMW i3 drivers at participating eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging in California through 2015. 14 Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE SEP 2014
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