FLOSFIA, a tech startup which originated at Kyoto University, is partnering with DENSO Corporation on a next-generation power semiconductor device designed to reduce weight, size, cost, and energy loss of inverters used in electrified vehicles (EVs).
In addition to the joint development partnership, DENSO has acquired new shares issued by FLOSFIA in its Series C funding round.
Professor Shizuo Fujita at Kyoto University pioneered the application of corundum structured gallium oxide (alpha-Ga2O3) for use in semiconductors. Alpha-Ga2O3 semiconductors provide superior performance to other semiconductors on the market. These semiconductors have a wide bandgap of 5.3 eV and high electric breakdown field strength, meaning they can better withstand high voltage applications. alpha-Ga2O3 will replace today's current silicon (Si) and silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors and help further develop the technologies that make tomorrow's electrified vehicles a reality.
Originally established at Kyoto University in 2011, FLOSFIA is a world leader in R&D and commercializing alpha-Ga2O3. Aligning with its vision to create the future of mobility through Connected, Automated Drive, and Electrification technologies, DENSO became interested in FLOSFIA's technology. The two will further research and develop technology in high-voltage products for hybrid and electric vehicles, including semiconductors.
Since 2007, DENSO has provided power control units (PCUs) for hybrid and electric vehicles. PCUs use an inverter to control the power supplied from the battery to the motor generator. To use electric energy more efficiently, energy losses during the DC to AC conversion by the inverter must be reduced, and so DENSO is conducting R&D on low-loss power semiconductors.
Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.
About FLOSFIA Inc.
FLOSFIA Inc., headquartered in Kyoto, Kyoto prefecture, Japan, is a spin-off from a research of Kyoto University, specializing in film-formation by mist chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Making use of physical properties of gallium oxide (Ga2O3), FLOSFIA has devoted to development of low-loss power devices. FLOSFIA succeeded in a development of a Schottky Barrier Diode (SBD) with the lowest specific on-resistance of any SBDs currently available on the market (through an internal investigation), realizing technologies linked to power loss reduction that is reduced up to 90 percent less than before. Flosfia will now develop its own production lines with a view to launching commercial production in 2018.FLOSFIA produces a variety of thin films, enhancing MISTDRY technology, achieving commercialization of power devices, and realizing application of its technology to electrode materials, oxide compounds with functional properties for electronic devices, plating and polymers. For more information, go to http://www.flosfia.com/.