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Use of Metal Power Inductors in Automotive Gathers Steam

T he development of automotive-grade and metal-based power inductors has been gathering momentum. In various power supply circuits of automobiles, ferrite (Ni-Zn)-based inductors have conventionally been mounted. However, amid the progress of connected, autonomous, shared & services, and electric (CASE) trends, a wide range of requirements, including stronger safety systems, advancement toward autonomous driving, and environment-friendliness and energy savings, have been emerging. For these reasons, there have been growing clamor to propose metal-based power inductors that feature compact size and support high current.

In automobiles, relatively large ferrite-based power inductors have been typically used in power supply circuits that require high inductance. However, they pose some challenges including less compatibility with high current compared with metal material inductors and relatively large magnetic leakage flux. For these reasons, it has been difficult for them to be used in high-current and high-density automotive electric circuits.