How is Fraunhofer IAF paving the »way ahead« in the field of mobility?
Quay — We are researching gallium nitride (GaN) for effective voltage conversion and efficient power supply. GaN is already used in cars today in various converters because it is small and compact. It is also being evaluated for converters in engines. This would mean that converters, which are currently very large, could become smaller and would no longer have to be water-cooled. And that would make cars lighter. In addition, we are researching higher voltages up to 1200 V, because that would be even more efficient. For this, however, the material system has to be further developed, as there are currently no cost-effective GaN substrates available.
Krämer — When you look under the hood at Fraunhofer IAF, you see many points of contact with mobility. An essential part of the added value of a car is not the powertrain and the driver's cab, but the sensors, communication and electronics. That's where IAF is strong. In the short term, I see IAF's millimeter-wave devices as a good opportunity to advance driver assistance and networked driving – right up to autonomous vehicles. IAF's power electronics are particularly energy-efficient and yet high-performance, meaning that they are predestined for mobility. In the medium term, diamond can serve as a new power electronic material. And the topic of the future is clearly quantum computing, which makes intelligent logistics possible.