Chroma: A Leader in EV Testing

Article By : Stephen Las Marias

Chroma ATE has won the Best Test and Measurement Product of the Year award at the inaugural EE Awards Asia.

Established in 1984, Chroma ATE has been upholding the three basic design principles: precision, Reliability, and Uniqueness, as to continue offering world-class testing solutions for various applications among the global industries such as semiconductors, power electronics, and the latest electric vehicles (EVs). Being strived to stay competitive for the leading technologies, Chroma ATE Inc. has invested ample resources in developing innovative test and automation turnkey solutions with the performance and the quality to ensure the customers’ successes.

Focus on EV

One of the trends driving the test and measurement industry right now is the automotive sector, because of its safety-critical nature. But one trend that is driving this sector is the EV segment, amid the move to cut carbon emissions.

“The concern for product development is safety, and, of course, our customers such as automakers, the OEMs, and Tier 1 suppliers need a higher development efficiency, and to shorten their time to market,” says Jason Chen, Manager, Chroma.

Chroma combines its extensive test and measurement experience and domain know-how to develop solutions addressing the potential pain points of their customers.

“We have many colleagues from different industries, including automotive OEMs,” says Chen. “I, myself, worked previously for a car company for over 13 years.” According to Chen, their combined expertise in many different sectors help them develop total solutions that will help their customers, from the R&D stage to the production stage.

“We would like to become the technical business partner of those customers. Those are the key challenges that we are trying to address,” he adds.

One of the technologies from Chroma designed for EV testing applications is the Chroma 8620 OBC and DC-DC Converter Power HIL Testbed. “Our system solution can both test functions on the traditional signal-level basis and verify actual power behavior, to completely cover the test range of EV high-power components,” explains Chen. “And highly supporting the validation requirements at the right side of the vehicle’s standard V-model development process is also an important feature to help customers’ engineers address these challenges. At the same time, our product testbed can implement various composite and simulated vehicle scenarios in advance before entering real vehicle testing. Users can discover and correct problems early to reduce development costs and improve test efficiency. Over the past several years, we’ve helped many international OEs and Tier 1 suppliers—from traditional big carmakers to emerging startups—enhance their product quality and efficiency in terms of applications such as battery production, charging safety, propulsion stability, and energy administration.”

It is in this light that the company has won the Best Test and Measurement Product of the Year award at the inaugural EE Awards Asia.

With Chroma’s 8620 OBC and DC-DC Converter Power HIL Testbed, hardware configuration can be adapted according to DUT specifications, with options including a programmable DC power supply, programmable DC electronic load, digital power meter, and oscilloscope. The system can be applied to different architectures and boasts expansion and sharing of the platform. Specially designed for R&D of on-board chargers (OBC) or DC/DC converters, its flexible software provides user interfaces for operation and monitoring of manual and automated test functions and automatically generates comprehensive test reports.

“Our testbed solution provides extensive modular hardware that can be expandable according to users’ needs,” says Chen. “From Chroma’s high-power equipment like battery cycler or DC source, to any other third party’s component, various type of hardware can be integrated easily by the software platform with open architecture. And for the eco-friendly goal, high-voltage, high-power and energy recycling capability have become the most important features we need to accomplish. Chroma pours lots of resource and effort to let our equipment be able to satisfy these targets. For example, our battery cycler can reach 1000V/600kW, as DC source could reach 1800V/540kW both with energy bi-directional function and parallel flexibility.” Another unique feature of Chroma’s systems is that it helps users develop their own test specifications, as compared to other “closed systems.”

“Winning an EE Award is a great honor,” Chen notes. “It is a good opportunity to let EE Times and EDN readers know more about Chroma, and our new product solution. We hope to pass forward our passion and enthusiasm that we dedicate to the testing and EV industry. And we hope the readers could feel that and know Chroma more.”


Over the next year, Chroma plans to launch its Power HIL and Dynamometer testbeds. “First, we’ll combine the battery pack and battery management system (BMS) HIL testbed, which would provide the complete battery related test solution from signal to power level requirement,” explains Chen. “Then, we will develop multi-axle dynamometer testbeds, which aims for a 3-in-1 e-propulsion driving system. We will still invest lots of resource and effort in fulfilling requirements mainly from the EV market. And from our point of view, 2022 looks like a way better year, and we look forward to more opportunities working with potential customers.”

Words of Wisdom

Winning a product award is a testament to all the efforts done by every designer and engineer involved in creating the said product—in this case, a test and measurement solution designed for the EV industry.

But for the young engineers—new graduates entering the engineering field, or those who are in their freshmen year in the industry—who have yet to make their mark in the industry, here’s an advice from Chen.

“Before I joined Chroma in 2018, I have worked for the automotive industry for over 13 years. In both companies, I am involved with testing. Nowadays, everyone is talking about EVs. It would sound like a trendy thing, but many people don’t know how much effort and knowledge we need to equip ourselves to accomplish those products,” he says. “The vehicle industry is a safety-critical industry, unlike the consumer electronics sector. It is totally different story. My advice to the young engineers who want to endeavor into the EV sector, or the vehicle industry as a whole: be patient and learn more—as much as you can—and to see those products and the whole system with a greater point of view. Focus more on the systems, not only on parts. It will help you to know more about the total structure and how to design and to improve your products, to be able to meet the end-customers’ needs, which is very important.”


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