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9 March 2016

GaN and SiC power semiconductor market to surpass $1bn in 2020 then $3.7bn in 2025

Energized by demand from hybrid and electric vehicles, power supplies and photovoltaic (PV) inverters, the emerging global market for silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors will rise from just $210m in 2015 to more than $1bn in five years then $3.7bn in 2025, according to market research firm IHS Inc in its 'SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report'. Revenue is expected to rise with double-digit growth annually for the next decade.

SiC Schottky diodes have been on the market for more than 10 years, with SiC metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET), junction-gate field-effect transistors (JFET) and bipolar junction transistors (BJT) appearing in recent years. SiC MOSFETs are proving very popular among manufacturers, with several companies already offering them, and more expected to in the coming year. The introduction of 900V SiC MOSFETs (priced to compete with silicon SuperJunction MOSFETs), as well as increased competition among suppliers, has forced average prices to fall in 2015.

"Declining prices will spur faster adoption of the technology," says Richard Eden, senior market analyst for power semiconductor discretes and modules at IHS Technology. "In contrast, GaN power transistors and GaN modules have only just recently appeared in the market. GaN is a wide-bandgap material offering similar performance benefits to SiC, but with greater cost-reduction potential. This price and performance advantage is possible, because GaN power devices can be grown on silicon substrates that are larger and less expensive than SiC," he adds. "Although GaN transistors are now entering the market, the development of GaN Schottky diodes has virtually stopped."

By 2020, GaN-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) devices are expected to achieve price parity with - and the same superior performance as - silicon MOSFETs and insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). When this benchmark is reached, the GaN power market is expected to surpass $600m in 2025. In contrast, the more established SiC power market - mainly consisting of SiC power modules - will hit $3bn in the same time period.

By 2025, SiC MOSFETs are forecast to generate revenue exceeding $300m, almost catching Schottky diodes to become the second best-selling SiC discrete power device type. Meanwhile, SiC JFETs and SiC BJTs are each forecast to generate much less revenue than SiC MOSFETs, despite achieving good reliability, price and performance. "While end-users now strongly prefer normally-off SiC MOSFETs, so SiC JFETs and BJTs look likely to remain specialized, niche products," Eden says. "However, the largest revenues are expected to come from hybrid and full-SiC power modules."

Hybrid SiC power modules (combining Si IGBTs and SIC diodes) are estimated to have generated about $38m in sales in 2015, and full-SiC power modules are only 2-3 years behind in the ramp-up cycle. Each module type is forecast to exceed $1bn in revenue by 2025.

See related items:

IHS reports developments in power semiconductors highlighted at PCIM

SiC & GaN power semiconductors market to grow 17-fold to $2.5bn in 2023

Tags: GaN SiC Power electronics

Visit: https://technology.ihs.com/521146/sic-gan-power-semiconductors-2016

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