Power SiC 2016: Materials, Devices, Modules, and Applications

SIC POWER IS DIFFUSING INTO MULTIPLE APPLICATION SEGMENTS

When the first SiC diode was launched in 2001, the industry questioned the future of the SiC power business: Will it grow? Is this a real business? 15 years later, in 2016, people don’t ask these questions anymore. The SiC power business is concrete and real, with a promising outlook. The SiC power market (diode and transistor included) is estimated to be more than $200M in 2015 and forecasted to be more than $550M in 2021, with a 2015 – 2021 CAGR of 19%. Not surprisingly, the power factor correction (PFC) power supply market is still the leading application, consuming a large volume of diodes.

Photovoltaics (PV) inverters are close behind. SiC diodes and MOSFETs are now used by various PV inverter manufacturers in their products. It has been confirmed that SiC implementation provides several performance benefits: increased efficiency, reduced size and weight. In addition, it allows to low cost at the system level in certain power range. Yole Développement has received increasingly positive feedback from the market, and we expect other manufacturers to follow in the footsteps of the early adopters, leading to a rapid expansion of the PV segment in the coming years.

The benefits enabled by SiC, the continuous performance improvement, and the cost erosion of SiC power devices will fuel the implementation of SiC in different applications. This report conveys Yole Développement’s understanding of SiC implementation in different segments, and offers a comprehensive summary of SiC power device market data (split by application), including PFC/power supply, PV, EV/HEV, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), motor drives, wind, and rail.

Commercially available SiC diodes

SIC DEVICES MANUFACTURERS MUST SUPPORT THE SYSTEM MAKERS IN ORDER TO FACILITATE ADOPTION. 

Designers are well aware of SiC’s advantages, but they also know the challenges they face: a new product with SiC devices means R&D investments, higher device cost, differences between Si devices they’re already familiar with, and lack of field data. All of these factors present barriers to using SiC.

To accelerate SiC’s adoption, it is necessary to continue to educate end-users about the benefits at system level; and more importantly, to support them in using these new devices. Yole Développement is happy to see that device manufacturers have gradually learned from their experiences and are moving in a good direction. For example, facing questioning about reliability, SiC device suppliers are offering more and more reliability data, supported by internal and third-party testing. Understanding that the reliability standards for silicon do not completely suit SiC devices, a consortium to establish new standards has been formed by different SiC power device makers.

Also, the announcement of a new module is frequently associated with the release of a driving solution, assisting the designer in surmounting the difficulties linked to the driver. Similarly, Wolfspeed proposes a new SiC-dedicated online design simulation tool to simplify the designer’s task. Moreover, additional integrated solutions like power stack (also called “power assembly” or “power block”) are appearing on the market. For example, GE has proposed a power block designed to be a kind of “plug-and-play” solution, with the objective to avoid integration difficulties that designers may encounter.

This report includes a detailed description of the diode, transistor, and module product landscape.

Coming SiC product examples

SIC POWER IS CREATING MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUPPLIERS.

Attracted by the market’s potential, more and more players are entering at different levels of the value chain:

  • At the module packaging level, Starpower just showed their SiC module in May 2016.
  • A the device level, after investing in Monolith Semiconductors in 2015, Littlefuse released its SiC diode products in May this year, with the intention to develop a full product range. We’ve also identified other newcomers: Brückewell, YangJie Technology, Gengol, each with different backgrounds and different business models.
  • On the materials side, Aymont, the SiC growth furnace supplier, has started to supply SiC wafers

Furthermore, existing players will expand their products. For example, Infineon just released its 1200V SiC MOSFET and plans to go into mass production in 2017. Also, Fuji’s full SiC module will be available. As more and more products reach the market, Yole Développement expects an acceleration of SiC. This growing market is generating plenty of opportunities for different types of suppliers: passive components, materials suppliers, test equipment suppliers, and more.

This report provides an overview of the SiC power industry playground, covering the value chain from material to epi to module, and outlines Yole Développement’s understanding of the market’s current dynamics and future evolution.

SiC device market

OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT

This report’s objectives are to:

  • Review the SiC power industry landscape
  • Provide market volume and revenue forecast to 2021
  • Detail SiC’s penetration in different applications (PFC/power supply, PV, EV/HEV, UPS, motor drive, wind, rail etc.)
  • Showcase state-of-the-art SiC-based devices, modules, and power stacks
  • Reveal the SiC power market roadmap

WHAT’S NEW COMPARED TO PREVIOUS EDITION

  • Products chart for SiC diode, transistor, and module
  • Protection -a new application for SiC JFETs
  • Updating different players’ 2014 market share
  • Splits for discrete, hybrid, and full SiC module
  • Discussion about SiC power market dynamics
  • SiC power market road map
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