The report segments the global SiC power devices market based on application (EVs/HEVs, IMDs, PV Inverters, UPS & PS, and others), product (diodes, modules, and transistors), and by geography (the Americas, EMEA, and APAC). It provides a detailed illustration of the major factors influencing the market, including drivers, opportunities, trends, and industry-specific challenges.
Here are some key findings of the global SiC power devices market, according to Technavio hardware and semiconductor researchers:
- Growing demand for power electronics: a major market driver
- Transition toward larger SiC wafer: emerging market trend
- APAC dominated the global SiC power devices market with 43% share in 2017
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Growing demand for power electronics: a major market driver
Growing demand for power electronics is one of the major factors driving the global SiC power devices market. Power electronics help in controlling and converting electrical power. The growing demand for power electronics in several end-user industries is increasing the adoption of SiC power devices. These devices play a vital role in controlling automotive electronics such as modern electric power steering, HEV main inverter, seat control, braking system, and others. In automotive electronics, power electronics help in managing thermal issues and improving fuel efficiency. These devices use components such as SiC power MOSFETs and SiC SBDs in the powertrain systems to ensure optimal operation of all components at high temperature.
According to a senior analyst at Technavio for semiconductor equipment research, “SiC power devices are used in several power electronics systems since they are capable of withstanding high temperatures, thereby, resulting in minimal power loss. For instance, in 2017, Venturi Automobiles that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric vehicles partnered with ROHM Semiconductor to adopt SiC technology for increasing the power efficiency of its electronic vehicles.”
In aerospace and defense, the demand for power electronics is high as these are light-weight, easy to maintain and operate, and have fault detection intelligence. SiC power electronic systems are used for energy conversion in generators and actuators that are used in aircraft. In 2016, Northrop Grumman Corporation, an American aerospace and defense technology company, announced its plans to increase the use of SiC power electronic devices in light-weight shipboard power systems for the naval application. The firm also plans to develop light-weight, compact, and high-power electronic modules that will help in saving space in naval vessels.
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Transition toward larger SiC wafer: emerging market trend
The major trend identified by Technavio is the increasing interest in large-sized SiC wafer. A six-inch wafer has a larger surface idea, which ensures the manufacture of a higher number of chips at lower cost. Larger wafer size reduces the manufacturing cost by 30% and device cost by 20%-50%. In 2017, Norstel, a leading manufacturer of conductive and semi-insulating SiC substrate, developed the six-inch SiC n-type wafers to enhance the quality of SiC wafers. The expansion of the wafer size from four inches to six inches is achieved by reducing the dislocation density in the SiC wafers and expanding the diameter.
In addition to the above factors, manufacturers are entering several M&A to increase the wafer size. For instance, in 2017, II-VI Incorporated, an electronic component manufacturing company, acquired Kaiam, a manufacturer of optical transceivers and photonic lightwave circuits (PLCs). The acquisition aimed at expanding the in-house capacity to provide six-inch wafers for GaAs, SiC, and InP-based devices. These instances show the increasing interest of manufacturers to increase the wafer size. This trend will enhance product development.
Global market opportunities
In terms of regional dominance, APAC dominated the global SiC power devices market, followed by EMEA and the Americas in 2017. APAC is also expected to emerge as the fastest growing market by increasing its market share by close to 3% during the forecast period. The other two regions are expected to witness a slight decline in their market shares by 2022.
Customers in these regions include OEMs such as aerospace and defense firms, automotive manufacturers, consumer electronics manufacturers, healthcare equipment manufacturers, and telecommunication equipment vendors.
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