As electric vehicles have rapidly matured, certain features that were never necessary for internal combustion engines have become critical to EVs’ operation: a power distribution unit; a battery disconnect unit; an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) controller;
a battery management system; an onboard charger; a DC-to-DC converter.
The trend is reminiscent of the growth in internal combustion engines’ electrical/electronic architectures, where each feature required an electronic control unit — a separate box that took up precious space within a vehicle chassis. Every box needed its own software, its own connectors and its own housings, all of which resulted in added complexity and cost.
But just as traditional electrical/electronic architectures are up-integrating to reduce complexity and enable new functionality, so too must power electronics. The challenge is to consolidate those functions while supporting redundancy, increasing power density and maintaining the highest levels of safety.
This combined system, an integrated power electronics controller (IPEC), will be one of the most important systems in a BEV; without it, the vehicle simply will not function.
For that reason, some of the software that will run the system has to be designed for the highest level of risk management: Automotive Safety Integrity Level D (ASIL-D). It has to be capable of receiving over-the-air updates to ensure that it is fully optimized at all times. And it must be guarded with the most robust cybersecurity controls.
Consolidating multiple functions into a single IPEC opens the door for truly transformative architectural changes. Read our white paper to find out more.