Pradeep Shenoy leads TI’s Power Design Services team focused on the automotive market. He has served in several roles in the IEEE Power Electronics Society and is active in the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) organizing committee. Pradeep obtained the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received several awards including the Jack Kilby Award for Innovation in 2015 and the Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer Award in 2020.
John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact Podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet and your privacy, and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit eridirect.com.
John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast. I’m John Shegerian and I’m so excited and honored to have with us today. Pradeep Shenoy, he’s the manager of Power Design Services at Texas Instruments. Welcome to Impact, Pradeep.
Pradeep Shenoy: Thank you so much, John. I’m really excited to be here. This is going to be a fun day today.
John: Well, I’m beyond excited because of course, Texas Instruments is one of the great iconic brands that really identified United States as the innovation nation early, early on in the technological revolution. So we’re so honored that you’re making time today for us and Pradeep, before we go into all the important and exciting work that you’re doing at Texas Instruments and for our listeners and viewers that want to find you or your colleagues, you could go and find Texas Instruments at www.ti.com. I’d love to just first ask you.
John: Tell us a little bit about your journey, your background. How do you even get here?
Pradeep: Oh, that’s a great question to start off with. So I like to start my background, my journey back when I was a college student. I went to undergrad in Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology and that’s where I first got my taste of electric vehicles and vehicle electrification. I was as a student working on a project where we tried to make an electric race car and actually it was supposed to be hybrid electric race car, but we only succeeded in making it electric though. Our gas engine didn’t really work.
Pradeep: That’s what happens when you have a bunch of electrical engineers, like, you fast forward, 15 or so years, I got a master’s in PhD in the field of power electronics in electrical engineering. I joined Texas Instruments after school worked in the Kilby Labs research and development labs that TI has and worked in product line for a while, productizing some technology and for the last four or five years or so, I have been part of the power design services team at TI. And I have the great privilege of working hand in hand with all of the great automakers across the world in empowering and enabling their latest and greatest designs.
John: Now, it’s so interesting. First of all, you’re a humble human being. I know that because I did my homework on you, Pradeep. And I don’t want our listeners or viewers to misunderstand your background. Not only did you get that amazing education, get an MS and PhD, but you’ve also won among other awards, a Jack Kilby award for innovation in 2015 in the Richard Bass, outstanding young power electronics engineer award in 2020. So you’re very decorated for a very young human being. So I just want to say not only congratulations, but it makes it even a bigger honor for us to have you on the show today. So thank you for taking the time.
Pradeep: My pleasure and I just pinch myself every day, realizing that I get to work in this exciting field at this time. I mean, if you’d asked me 20 years ago, what we’d be doing today, I would be really surprised.
John: Well, what’s most so fascinating is way before the technological revolution. As we know it today with all the fascinating internet of things, gadgets that we all enjoy, whether it’s wearables or EV cars or all the other things that make our lives, more connected and more interesting and definitely more communication than ever before TI. I’m 59 years old, so for me and my wife TI was a very important brand. She was a real estate broker and she did all of her deals. I remember on that wonderful iconic Texas instruments calculator. And she did all of her deals and not only on the calculator, but then she would always figure out her commission. I remember always waiting for her to figure out her commission and turning it over to show me, but what’s fascinating is your company has evolved so much. So now, you are really leading the way when it comes to automotive technology on EV. So share a little bit about how that evolution really happened at TI and not only were you a tremendous and iconic brand 25 years ago when my wife was one of the top real estate brokers in Los Angeles, but a lot of companies never make it beyond what really made them great to start with. They don’t know how to evolve. They get stuck in their legacy and almost drowning it, but TI is different.
John: You built on that legacy and you evolved now to be one of the cutting edge companies in automotive technology. Explain that evolution a little bit, if you can?
Pradeep: Yeah. So that’s a great question. So TI as you say a well-known brand amongst everyone, especially amongst technical engineers and the like, because of calculators, but that’s a very, very small portion of the overall TI business most of what we do. I mean, we’re fundamentally a semiconductor company, right?
Pradeep: Over the years, TI has developed different technology. It has acquired some companies, things like that. And it’s really built out a very, very strong portfolio in analog power products, in embedded processing and also in analog signal chain. And when you put these three major business components together the things that we can do is really limitless. I mean, today, I’m excited to talk with you about the automotive space and…
Pradeep: They’re literally across the whole vehicle, no matter what you’re talking about, TI’s pretty much got a hand in it.
John: Let’s talk about the EV trend. Of course, we know the tremendous and wonderful brand Tesla. But just last year with the spec craze that was going on, we’ve heard of so many other brands that started hitting the public markets Rivian and a whole massive amount. Plus also the great iconic brands in the United States have been also electrifying their vehicles for GM and others.
John: What brands does TI work with? Give us a little bit of a taste of the brands that you get to work with. And what’s the core stuff you are really leading right now on, Pradeep?
Pradeep: The way that the industry is set up is there’s usually, these automakers or OEMs. There’s also tier one suppliers that traditionally will make different subsystems of the vehicle and sell it to the car OEMs. But because of the semiconductor content is increasing so much in vehicles today, a lot of the car OEMs are really reaching out and wanting to work even more closely with semiconductor suppliers like, TI. The new technologies that we’re developing and bringing to market is enabling them to have a more immersive infotainment systems and all these different displays and create audio quality in vehicles. And there’s a lot of interesting, exciting things happening there. Different advanced driver assistance systems and how to enable additional safety features in vehicles. And then as you’ve mentioned, vehicle electrification, it’s a huge pillar, huge shift that the industry’s making. I mean, just over the last few years I everyone’s seen the shift, right. I mean, I don’t know if you watched the super bowl this past year.
Pradeep: I mean, every single car company, it seemed like had an EV that they were advertising. I’d never seen that many EV advertisements in one show.
John: I totally agree with you. But Pradeep, when I started my sustainability journey back, well, two ways, one, I was a very young man and I was a teenager working with my pops. And my dad was one of the first guys to bring windmill farms and the electrification of the grid using windmills in 1977 to 1980 to the United States. So that was very early days. But then when I got back into the sustainability industry, so to speak, not everyone really cared about it, but now what we’ve seen of the last couple of years, especially the last, let’s say 24 months ESG and circular economy in this shift from the linear to circular economy is here to stay in these young, great leaders like you, that’s leading that charge, including the financial institutions in Europe and the United States and in Asia, which is funding this innovation and this charge as well. So share a little bit about the sustainability energy landscape at TI since you started your career to where it’s evolved to now.
Pradeep: Yeah. So right now, I’d say we do a lot on making power supplies and power converters more efficient. That is one of the key aspects, efficiency in a vehicle or if it’s in a computer server. Think of all the different applications where you have electricity, that’s being used in the system. And me and my background and my teammates, we really are trying to make these systems as efficient as we possibly can. In an electric vehicle, the reason why efficiency is very important is you want to have as long of a driving range as you can, right. Every a little last mile that you can squeeze out of that battery is really important. And a lot of the gains that we’re seeing in vehicles is improving that efficiency. Yes, we want to maximize driving range, but also what goes hand in hand with that is just making electric vehicles more affordable.
John: That’s a balancing act that you’re always doing,
Pradeep: Right. But when we make these improvements, like you’re saying we can see impacts in driving range affordability and just the overall safety of the vehicle, no one wants to have any fire or any issues like that. And so the technologies we develop, for example, the battery management systems that TI makes for electric vehicles help to make sure that that battery is safe, that it gets as much of the energy out of it usable for the vehicle. But doing that in a way that also keeps the overall life of the battery and the health of the battery as best as possible.
John: That’s fascinating. So let’s go back. So back in ’07, I bought all my sales people all back then, what was then the hot EV car, which I believe was the and the EV version.
John: Back then, there was a term that was used a lot in the media. I don’t hear it as much anymore because of great companies like TI and leaders like you. But back then, the big problem was that everyone was worried about was this thing called range anxiety.
John: The range anxiety doesn’t have to do with anything psychological for people so much as the fact that people were just worried that they couldn’t get in their car and go to where they wanted to and get there and get home or wherever they needed to go and get back to on one charge. Explain what range anxiety meant to TI and how your team helped to overcome it and is continuing to evolve the opportunities to work against the issues of it range anxiety?
Pradeep: Yeah. So I’m curious. What car do you drive if you don’t me asking?
Pradeep: What car do you drive?
John: I drive a hybrid Mercedes, but I have to share this with you. One of my board members and also investors in ERI, which is our recycling company is JB Strauble.
Pradeep: Oh, yeah.
John: I got baptized very early and I’m very interested and I was very excited about this interview today because I want to learn more of myself and I want my viewers and listeners to learn more and get over range anxiety, maybe any other anxieties they have about EV cars and go out and buy one. So the forum is all yours today, Pradeep.
Pradeep: Yeah. So I mean, well, if you know JB, then you know a lot.
John: I know about that, but he knows a lot. I just get lucky to be his friend and his partner.
Pradeep: Well, that’s fantastic. I know some people that work at his company.
Pradeep: With electric vehicles and one of like you said, the initial challenges was range anxiety, right.
Pradeep: I mean, the first electric vehicle that I owned did not have a very large battery pack and it wasn’t very well managed. And I definitely experienced range anxiety. There was times I’m like, I don’t know. I have a funny story of one time I picked my brother up from the airport and I didn’t realize how much additional weight and luggage there would be in the car. And so on the way back, I did not have as much energy as I thought I would need to. So then I start driving slower and slower. So I’m going maybe like 40, 45 miles an hour down the freeway. Everyone else is zipping by it 75. So when people are concerned about range anxiety I get it.
Pradeep: I’ve been there.
Pradeep: But I would say that that is more of an issue for electric vehicles in the past. EVs that were made 5 years ago or something like that.
Pradeep: Most EVs on the market today are going to have much larger battery packs, much more efficient systems and EVs in the future are going to have eve more efficient and often higher capacity batteries and things like that, which will help get longer range. And kind of coupled in with that is I think just perception. One of the realities is most people aren’t driving very far on any given day. You’re most people 90%, 95% of what they’re doing is probably, I don’t know, there are exact numbers and I’m going to pull some numbers of the air here, but it’s probably less than 50 miles, maybe a 100 miles on the…
John: That makes sense. Right.
Pradeep: Usually, what goes hand in hand with range anxiety is just the charging infrastructure and making sure that we have that available and that you can charge your electric vehicle quickly, easily, wherever you go. Now, I think there’s actually, for those of your listeners who maybe don’t have an EV or haven’t experienced it before. One of the key things that I like to say when it comes to charging up an electric vehicle is that, the often well, how long does it take you to charge? How many hours in your garage at night or if you’re at even one of these fast charging EV stations. How long does that take?
Pradeep: I think those are valid questions, but what I like to say is when I charge my EV it takes me about 5 seconds and they’re like, “what? How can you charge an EV in 5 seconds?
Pradeep: I was like, “well, I happen to have, I’m fortunate. I have a garage where I live and it takes me about 5 seconds to pick up the cord and plug in my car. And the rest of it, it happens at night or at some time when I don’t know, I don’t really care, right?
Pradeep: I like to say, it takes me about 5 seconds with your traditional internal and bus engine vehicle. You have to sit there at the gas bump, just looking at your watch, waiting for your car to fill up.
Pradeep: Most of the time, I think people will be charging their vehicles in their home or place of work. And so I don’t think it’s as much of a challenge as many people expect it to be.
John: Got it. And for those listeners and viewers who’ve just joined us, we’ve got Pradeep Shenoy with us today. He’s the manager of Power Design Services at Texas Instruments to find Pradeep and his colleagues and look at all the great technologies that they’re creating to make our world a more electrified and make our automotive infrastructure a better and safer and more sustainable place, please go to www.ti.com. So what are you the most proud of in terms of the key technologies that are enabling the electrification of our automotive grid and where we’re going in terms of as you say, making the products more sustainable and also making our ranges even better?
Pradeep: Yeah. So, I mean, we talked a little bit about the battery management systems.
Pradeep: I mean, batteries at the heart of electric vehicles.
Pradeep: They’re one of the most expensive components and TI is industry leader in battery management systems. You have to make sure that the batteries, you monitor their voltage and temperatures and make sure that their performance expected. So that’s certainly one aspect. Another key technology in electric vehicles is the traction inverter. So this is the piece of equipment that takes energy from the battery and converts it into a form that will drive the electric machine or the motor that drives the vehicle. And this is a really critical portion of the system making that efficient and reliable is really important. Now, one of the trends that we’re seeing in the automotive industry, a lot of electric vehicles on the market today are based on like a 400 volt battery system.
Pradeep: They’re moving towards 800 volt batteries. And there’s some in the market today that are also 800 volt batteries. Like the Porsche has a vehicle, Hyundai has some cars that are 800 volt battery systems, and there’s more that’ll be coming out in the future. And what some of these shifts that we’re seeing in an industry enable is more efficient use of the the energy that’s in the battery as well as more efficient and just higher power charging. So when you are charging your vehicle especially at some of these high power charging stations, hundreds of kilowatts that are along the freeway or something like that, you want to be able to get as much power as much energy into the battery as quickly as possible. So a lot of that impacts also how the rest of the system. So you have the battery management system, the traction inverter as well as these different battery chargers. Now I actually happen to bring with me.
Pradeep: An example just show and tell.
Pradeep: This is an onboard charger that one of the guys on my team, he made and all of these things are really important to the actual functioning of the vehicle and to make it achieve the sustainability goals that we have. So one of the things that we’re trying to do with these. This is an example of an onboard charger. So it’s what charges your battery and it’s inside your vehicle, but it’s kind of heavy. I wish I could hand it to you and you can feel it, right.
John: But give us a little bit of example, how many pounds you think that is just give or take. And I know won’t be exact.
Pradeep: I don’t know.
Pradeep: This one is maybe 5 or 10 pounds.
Pradeep: I actually have no idea. I should…
John: Okay. That’s all you be honest. That’s okay. But I’m glad you brought it. That’s fascinating. Okay.
Pradeep: But what’s not worthy about this, right? Is we want these pieces of equipment, this battery charger that’s in our vehicle. We want it to be as small and as lightweight as possible, Right. Because you’re driving around your car with this onboard charger and it’s just additional weight and size, you would rather have more room in your trunk or in your frunk or whatever part of the vehicle that you got.
Pradeep: For putting your groceries and stuff in and you also want it to cost as be as cheap as you can as well.
John: Right. So the key is size and weight is going to continue to shrink.
Pradeep: That’s right.
John: As you evolve also efficiency on it.
Pradeep: That’s right. And so one of the key technologies that TI has developed and I’ll show you. This is the other side of this, right?
John: Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah, show us what TI’s [crosstalk] when you doing it.
Pradeep: What we have are these, these gallium nitride transistors. So these are switches.
Pradeep: This is a really important fundamental piece of the power converter. The way that power converters work as they’re transferring energy from AC to DC which is alternating current to direct current.
Pradeep: Then from DC to DC to charge the battery. You want these switches to switch as fast as possible basically, and that helps you to reduce the size of these other components. These are magnetics. So this is like a big adaptor. This is a transformer. And so with our new technology, we’re able to switch much faster than some of the existing silicon based solutions and even silicon carbine based solutions on the market today. And that helps us reduce overall size and weight. And then that translates into additional range benefits that you have. You can use your battery more efficiently. I get use that energy in your battery to take you further.
John: That’s so interesting. So, but if you were to hold up one of those same pieces of equipment from 5 years ago. What percentage, how much bigger and how much heavier was it…
Pradeep: It’d be at like, I believe double the size of this.
Pradeep: Yeah. Maybe even larger.
Pradeep: Like in my electric vehicle, I have an onboard charger and it’s rated for basically the same power as this, but it’s probably, twice maybe two and a half times as big.
John: Right. That’s so exciting. And so was one of your team’s goals to continue to shrink that product, but also make it more and more efficient and more sustainable.
Pradeep: Right. So absolutely. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do.
John: Got it.
Pradeep: One of the other things that I also want to point out. So at TI we have a lot of different interesting technologies, right?
Pradeep: One of the big challenges in automotive, when you’re designing one of these systems, whether you’re using… So we have gallium nitride, there’s also silicon carbide is another example of a wide band gap semiconductor that’s really of interest these days. But whichever technology you’re using, you have to somehow drive these switches, turn them on and off. And so we have all these little isolated bias supplies and isolated gate drivers, and all these. There’s a ton of different components that actually go into making this whole system work. This here, this is the controller, the micro controllers here.
Pradeep: This is where you control all the various stages of this onboard charger and having real time control capabilities helps us to enable these sorts of onboard and other pieces of equipment in the vehicle to operate at a much higher switching frequency and operational frequency, which helps to reduce the overall size. One of the great things that TI technology, I strongly believe will help enable is second life for batteries, right? Or second use, so right. You have, let’s say your battery and electric vehicle. And it runs for however many years is designed 4, 5, 10, 15 years, right?
Pradeep: Whatever it’s designed for, it still has some capabilities.
Pradeep: It may have worn out its useful life in an EV, but maybe you could take that same battery pack and use it again in maybe some grid level energy storage. So that’s a another second use for that battery. And then you could go to someone else, and they could even recycle that same battery itself, but…
Pradeep: One of the technologies that TI’s developed in this battery management system is actually a wireless battery management system, which really helps in typical battery packs today, there’s a bunch of wires running all around it that you have to use to monitor all the different cells and things like that. But if you made that wireless, you can remove a lot of the wiring harness and you can enable these second life, second use battery applications like grid level, energy storage or other things like that, backup batteries, things like that.
John: I love it. And also when you talk about safety, we talked about that about 10 minutes ago. Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing at TI to empower, making safer EV vehicles for all of us to enjoy and to continue to power the future of a more sustainable planet.
Pradeep: Yeah. So safety is very important in, I mean, not just EVs, but at any vehicle you’re looking at a very fast speeds.
Pradeep: Whenever you’re designing, I think a good example would be the traction inverter in your electric vehicle. This is the thing that takes the energy from the battery and is powering your electric machine. You want to make sure that the devices that are being turned on and off the switches in there are turned on and off in a very reliable, controllable manner. And that if there is something that does go wrong, that you have some sort of fault response capabilities able to bring the vehicle to a slow or safe place on the side of the road. There’s a lot of different things that go into that. TI for example, we make gate drivers and isolated by supplies that are used to drive the all these components in the traction inverter. We work hand in hand with a lot of the companies that develop that stuff to make sure that our devices and not just our devices, but really at the system level, is it achieving the safety, the functional safety levels that it needs to battery management, similar kind of things. So they have these different safety levels. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, they’re called ASIL levels ABCD, right. And we have a “D” is the highest, it’s the most stringent and a lot of the systems that we’re developing or that we enable our customers to develop. They need to have very high functional safety ratings to ensure that when people are driving their vehicles, they have no problems.
John: Got it. Talk a little bit about infrastructure.
John: My wife and I have a charger in our house, but when is charging going to become more and more ubiquitous. How is TI helping to be make the grid infrastructure play more ubiquitous for our lives, not only our homes, but in our public spaces?
John: How is that evolving and what is your team doing in your company doing to further that ubiquity of infrastructure charging for the EV space?
Pradeep: Yeah. So that’s a great question as well. That space is growing by leaps and bounds right now.
Pradeep: Whether it’s from government funding or from private industry.
Pradeep: There’s so much investment in that space right now. Where TI plays into it is really at the core, right? So we have these high powered chargers and even not even necessarily high power chargers, sometimes there’s the whole range of power levels. Sometimes it’s just about being in the right spot at the right time. So maybe a parking garage or at the supermarket or an office space.
Pradeep: What TI has developed is micro controllers and power switch technology that in different topologies and control that enable these to be low cost and affordable to make them small like I was showing you with this onboard charger.
Pradeep: That leverages some of our technology like gallium nitrate switches. They’ve really helped to reduce the overall size and cost of these systems.
John: What do you envision, what’s your thought process? When will there be a charging station on almost every corner? When will it be ubiquitous to our driving patterns, whether it’s far, whether it’s short, whether it’s in our home. How do you see that evolving in the next 3 to 5 years?
Pradeep: That’s an interesting question. I wish I knew the way that I could see this play out is a couple different ways, right?
Pradeep: I think sometimes people have the mindset of, we need to replace gas stations with charging stations. And I don’t know if that’s necessarily the right approach, personally.
Pradeep: Because one thing that you can do with an electric vehicles, you can charge anywhere there’s electricity.
Pradeep: In your home at work, whatever.
Pradeep: You’re not as limited. I obviously I think that we are seen and we’re going to be seeing a lot more development of the charging infrastructure along freeway corridors that’s a given and that’s already happening. I think what needs, probably the biggest gap today is having more charging infrastructure near where people live and work. I think it’s more difficult, let’s say in apartment complexes, right?
Pradeep: Where and how do you do that? And I know there’s a lot of companies that are working on different solutions for that space, or let’s say you live in a city where you just park on the street. How are you going to charge your electric vehicle there?
Pradeep: There’s also some really interesting technical companies and ideas and solutions that are in the works there. And one of the cool things about working at TI’s is we’re working with all of these different companies, all these different vendors on their solutions. So we’re in the guts and in the midst of all of that. I’d like to think though that people will look back at this time before we had the charging infrastructure.
Pradeep: They’ll realize that it wasn’t that big of a deal. Just like, when you first had a smartphone or something like that, right?
Pradeep: It was, “oh, I need to charge this thing every day, every evening though, where’s my charger going to be [crosstalk] then.”
Pradeep: You just get into some habits and it’s a little bit different, but it’s not that big of a deal. You figure it out.
John: I know what your answer was about 15 minutes ago. And I love the answer. How long does it take to charge your car? You said about 5 seconds. My wife and I have the same thing. We plug our cars in at night. We go to sleep, we wake up and the magic happened while we slept. But I want to go back to the reality of how fast technology’s changing and how TI is powering the change in such an impressive fashion. Although we do the same thing you do. We plug in our cars, we go to sleep and wake up and then we just go. And like you said, it’s quick, it’s from our office to our home most of the time. When it comes to fast charging, what’s the reality, is it really going to be right now? Does it take really 4 or 5 hours to charge most cars? And in 5 years it’s going to be minutes, or how do you see fast charging, evolving months and years ahead.
John: What’s your thoughts, Pradeep?
Pradeep: The fast charging capabilities that’ll be coming soon and that there’s even a couple on the market today are less than 20 minutes.
John: Come on. Wow.
Pradeep: Yeah, I mean, if you can get the car, you can buy some cars today.
Pradeep: That’ll charge in like 15 minutes or so. And this is one of the reasons why a lot of car makers are moving to 800 volt battery systems, right?
Pradeep: Because for the same current rating, they’re able to get that much more power out of these high powered chargers. So a lot of the 400 volt based vehicles on the market today, they might be limited to around maybe 200 kilowatts or so whereas, there are now other cars and other vehicles that are on the market and coming to the market real soon will have probably, 350 kilowatts kind of charging levels or some something to that on that order. I mean, and it also depends on where in the world you are. There’s other parts of the world where they’ll be charging even at higher power levels. So you could have some very short charge times, just enough time for you to get out to your car, use the restroom, get a snack, come back and it’ll be ready to go.
John: That’s crazy, because you get to work with so many cool brands, Pradeep. How far ahead? And I don’t want you to give up any secrets obviously, but how far ahead in the future are you seeing? Because I know there’s tons of R&D going on, not only on all the great startups that we have, including Tesla and Rivian and all the other startups, but also GM, Ford, Toyota and everywhere else.
John: How far in advance are you working on next generation technology? And do you go home at night and say, wow, wait till the public sees what we’re doing.
John: Is that coming in 5 years? Is that coming in 3 years? Well, how far is the future really that far away?
Pradeep: I tend to think that the future is right now.
Pradeep: But you can start to see little glimmers of it here and there.
Pradeep: I will say though, that it is kind of, for me my perennial struggle, because I’m working with car makers, usually when I’m working with them, it’s maybe still a couple years away from production.
Pradeep Right. Model year in ’26, ’27 something like that, right? Is where a lot of our initial work is we have some things that are probably model year ’24, ’25 that are going to be going to ramp real soon here. But it’s always my challenge. I’m like, “oh, I can see where it’s at today. If I just wait a little bit longer, then I’ll get this other new benefit.” So I struggle’s real. But the way I look it is, it’s kind of like what you do with your smartphone, right?
Pradeep: Every couple years, you’ll upgrade to whatever the latest and greatest is. I mean, if someone’s interested in EV I wouldn’t tell them to wait, I mean, jump right in.
Pradeep: You’re going to love it. If you haven’t done it, if you don’t have one they’re awesome. But I think the main shift that we’re seeing, especially in EVs is almost everyone or a lot, I’d say the large portion of the industry is moving to 800 volt batteries. And so that will increase range, reduce charge times all this kind of stuff that I think customers want.
John: I’m going to change the topic a little bit, and I know you’re an automotive engineer by both education and train and your experience, but how much of what you’re doing and what Texas Instruments is really doing is reasonably applicable to the aviation industry. Is there any analogous applications that we’re going to see come in the aviation industry do you believe?
Pradeep: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, absolutely. I think so a minute before I was talking about gallium nitride technology, right?
Pradeep: It’s a wide semiconductor it’s basically helps reduce size and weight.
Pradeep: In vehicles, you want that, and especially you want that in aviation, right. So in any sort of like aerospace system that could be beneficial, there’s also similar kind of power levels in aviation. I mean, it’s higher power, but they often use some of the same voltage levels. So they’ll leverage if the automotive industry goes to 800 volt systems and you see so many suppliers developing products for that space, a lot of these other industries will also benefit because the automotive industry’s huge, right. And you have everyone moving towards this next goal post. And so in the aviation industry, I know some people that work in that industry as well, they’re saying the same stuff and they’re doing the same things that’s being done in the automotive industry.
John: That’s so cool. Pradeep, before I let you go today. Talk about your favorite two or three initiatives that TI is working on right now that you could share with us that gets you the most excited.
Pradeep: Oh, that’s a great question, too. So some of the initiatives that I’m really excited about that TI has.
Pradeep: Focuses on what we’re doing in the automotive space, because that’s what I’m here, right?
Pradeep: One of the things that we are trying to do is make electric vehicles affordable and longer range, things like that. What’s exciting for me is when I get to go to various universities around the country and I get to talk to them about what we’re doing. When I was a student, the way that the world looked was very different.
Pradeep: We would talk about electric vehicles, for example, as something far off in the future. But now when we go around and we talk to students and I’m really fortunate in my role. I get to talk to a lot of people that are still trying to figure out what to do with their lives. I sometimes ask myself that same question, but really seeing them understand what TI is doing and what it’s trying to do and where, like, not just industry, but the world is headed is really exciting for me. Personally, and I’m grateful that TI enables me to do that. And I think the other kind of initiative that I really like that I get to be a part of at TI is we have a long standing power supply design seminar where we go across the world in different areas really helping engineers predominantly like understand how to build these sorts of systems and teaching them how to do it. And the learnings there are just really exciting and very impactful.
John: Well, that’s awesome, Pradeep. And I just want to say, thank you personally, for the great work you’re doing, thank Texas Instruments also, and all your colleagues, because it’s really so wonderful to see one of the great American iconic brands just powering the sustainable future and making the world a better and greener place. We’re so grateful for your time today and for our listeners and viewers to find Pradeep and his colleagues and all the great work that Texas Instruments is up to in the sustainability and energy field with regards to automotive and other great items, please go to www.ti.com. Pradeep Shenoy, you’re always welcome back on the Impact podcast. You’re making the world a better greener and more sustainable place. And thank you again for your time today.
Pradeep: Thank you, John. This was a lot of fun. I’m really glad that I was able to chat with you today and thank you to all your listeners as well.
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