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Power SiC: more than $4 billion invested in the industry

 

Extracted from :
Power SiC: Materials, Devices and Applications report, Yole Développement, 2020
SiC Transistor Comparison 2020 report, System Plus Consulting, 2020
SiC Diodes Comparison 2020 report, System Plus Consulting, 2020
Compound Semiconductor Quarterly Market Monitor, Q3 2020, Yole Développement

OUTLINE :
• Market figures & trends:
As one of the main drivers of the overall power electronics market, automotive application is expected to remain one of the major markets in SiC(1) power segments.
The total SiC device market should reach more than U$2.5 billion by 2025, with a 30% CAGR(2) between 2019 and 2025.
• COVID-19 outbreak:
SiC device and materials market growth in the EV/HEV(3) market have slowed down due to lockdown measures and lower production rates at both OEMs’ and SiC players’ facilities in H1-2020.
Nevertheless, market outlook for SiC is positive.
• Competitive landscape & supply chain:
Yole Développement points out long-term agreements that represent more than US$900 million in 2019-2020 period.(5)
Driven by the device demand, STMicroelectronics, Infineon Technologies, ON Semiconductor and more have signed several long-term wafer supply agreements with Cree, SiCrystal…
In addition, GTAT, as a unique boule supplier, made deals with ON Semiconductor and Infineon in 2020.
Remarkable announcement and investments from the Chinese players have been also identified: following the US-China trade tensions, creating a domestic SiC supply chain has been crucial.

“SiC technologies are gaining the confidence of many customers and are penetrating various applications,” asserts Ezgi Dogmus, PhD. Team Lead Analyst, Compound Semiconductor & Emerging Substrates at Yole Développement (Yole). “Indeed, driven by EV related applications, SiC for power electronics applications will for sure, grow strongly in the next five years…”.
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the SiC-based EV/HEV market has not slowed down. Numerous carmakers continue qualifying SiC discrete devices or modules in main inverters, OBC(6) and DC/DC converters for their next generation models. In this context, the SiC automotive market is expected to grow to exceed US$1.5 billion in 2025, with a 38% CAGR.
Along with EV applications, SiC is of great interest to the charging infrastructure market, which is growing significantly. Indeed, high power chargers can benefit from SiC’s higher efficiency and higher frequency by offering more compact solutions than silicon IGBTs. The market size is expected to reach US$225 million in 2025 with a 90% CAGR between 2019 and 2025.
Besides automotive, applications such as PV(7), rail and motor drives will also show double-digit CAGR in the 2019-2025 period.

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More generally, the market outlook for SiC devices looks promising. This market will reach a 30% CAGR for the 2019-2025 period, according to Yole’ Power SiC report, 2020 edition. Since the commercialization of the first SiC device in 2001, SiC devices performances and the value, have been gradually proven. Their price has also become increasingly attractive for the end users.
“SiC transistors still have some technical and commercial challenges to face, despite the value they add”, comments Amine Allouche, Technology & Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting. “These include the wafer price and the complexity of some process steps, specifically SiC etching and high temperature implantation. These challenges still hinder SiC adoption on a large commercial scale.”
In parallel, SiC diodes’ performance and added value have been also demonstrated. Today, their price has become increasingly acceptable to end users as well…

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Yole and System Plus Consulting are daily working together to identify and analyze the latest innovations in the power electronics industry and especially related to SiC technologies. Through an extensive collection of market, technology, reverse engineering and costing reports, they deliver their vision of the SiC industry and their understanding of its evolution.
This month, both partners announce:
• The annual report, Power SiC: Materials, Devices and Applications report. In this 2020 analysis, Yole’s analysts consider the COVID-19 impact and update their annual market figures. This report is also a good picture of the intense competitive landscape with a relevant strategic analysis and the related investments and partnerships. A special focus on the Chinese ecosystem is also proposed in this report.
• And two dedicated comparative analyses: SiC Diodes Comparison 2020 report and SiC Transistor Comparison 2020 report. With both reports, System Plus Consulting presents an overview of the state of the art of SiC transistors and diodes technologies:
The 1st one gives a benchmark overview of the different SiC diodes available on the market and analyzes 11 of them from seven of the main SiC diode suppliers.
“The 11 SiC diodes are spread across three voltage classes: 650V, 1200V, and 1700V”, explains Amine Allouche from System Plus Consulting. “Devices from Infineon Technologies, Wolfspeed, Rohm, STMicroelectronics, ON Semiconductor, Microsemi, and UnitedSiC have been analyzed. They target different power applications, including two AEC-Q101 qualified SiC diodes.”
The 2nd report includes 29 SiC transistors: 25 SiC MOSFETs and 4 SiC JFETs, of 5 voltage classes. Developed by Rohm, STMicroelectronics, Wolfspeed, Infineon Technologies, Littelfuse, ON Semiconductor, Microsemi, and UnitedSiC, they target different power applications, including two automotive qualified devices.
In addition, the Compound Semiconductor Quarterly Market Monitor developed by Yole’s analysts is deeply following the evolution of the power SiC and GaN industry, quarter by quarter as well as a selection of leading compound semiconductor companies in term of market positioning, strategies and market shares. This month, Yole announces the Q3 2020 update with new sections related to GaN and GaAs for RF electronics applications.

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What is the status of the power SiC industry? What are the economic and technological challenge? What are the impacts of the COVID-19? Which are the leading companies to watch? How will the market evolve? What is the role of the Chinese companies? What are the latest innovations related to SiC diodes and transistors? Compound semiconductor & emerging substrates analysts from System Plus Consulting and Yole presents, today their vision of the power SiC devices, epiwafer and wafer industry.

In 2018, the increase of wafer demand as well as the transition from 4” to 6” resulted in wafer shortages. Consequently, securing wafer supply has become the priority for device manufacturers.
“Facing growing demand, wafer suppliers such as Cree, II-VI, SiCrystal, a ROHM company, Tankeblue, SiCC and many others have invested heavily to expand their capacity,” states Poshun Chiu, Technology & Market Analyst, Compound Semiconductors & Emerging Substrates at Yole. “Numerous device manufactures, such as STMicroelectronics, Infineon Technologies, ON Semiconductor, have signed several long-term wafer supply agreements with Cree, SiCrystal and GTAT. In parallel, Korean SKSiltron acquired Dupont’s SiC wafer business and STMicroelectronics completed the acquisition of Norstel.”
Following US-China trade tensions, Chinese players accelerated their plan to create a domestic supply chain. More than US$2 billion were invested by Sanan, Tankeblue, SICC and other Chinese suppliers covering wafer and epiwafer fabs and packaging. In 2020, substrate supplier II-VI made an important step toward vertical integration in the SiC module business. By acquiring Ascatron and Innovion and licensing GE’s SiC module technology, II-VI has internalized the epi and device manufacturing steps. II-VI’s strategy was clearly to secure new business in the growing module market.
“The SiC market is very dynamic, with lots of investments as well as partnerships to accelerate the time to market”, concludes Ahmed Ben Slimane, Technology & Market Analyst, Compound Semiconductors & Emerging Substrates at Yole.
Regarding the module business, in the 2019-2020 period, Cree partnered with StarPower, ABB, ZF and Delphi for SiC-based power train systems for electric cars and e-buses. ROHM teamed up with Vitesco and Leadrive Technologies to work on SiC powertrain solutions.
Automotive Tier 1 player Bosch is also internally developing SiC modules…

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System Plus Consulting and Yole’s analysts investigate SiC technologies and related markets for a while. Step by step they developed a significant expertise and knowledge of this industry. Make sure to follow both companies and get a deep understanding of the SiC adoption with i-Micronews website and its valuable content including articles, interviews, webcasts, presentations, technology, market & reverse engineering reports and monitors. Stay tuned!

(1): SiC : Silicon Carbide
(2): CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
(3): EV/HEV: Electric Vehicle/Hybrid Electric Vehicle
(4): OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer
(5): Without counting the acquisitions
(6): OBC: On-Board Chargers
(7): PV: Photovoltaics

 

 

 

 

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