Lyon, France – After two years of stalled growth, the power semiconductor market grew 8.4 percent in 2014, reaching $11.5 billion, according to new research from Yole Développement (Yole). A key finding in the new report indicates that disruptive technologies such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are now starting to generate revenue, while becoming a challenge for companies that are not participating in these markets.
As part of the new report, Status of the Power Electronics Industry (Feb. 2015 edition), the market research and strategy consulting company looks at disruptive power electronics technologies including wide band gap (WBG) materials such as SiC and GaN, MOSFETs and IGBT devices as well as related applications such as wind turbines, transmission and distribution, EV/HEV, rail traction, uninterruptible power supplies and motor drives.
“The outlook for the years ahead is also optimistic,” said Yole’s analysts. “Market growth will be driven by a significant increase in electric and hybrid vehicle (EV/HEV) sales, as well as the ramp-up of renewable energy and more smart-grid technology implementation.
The power semiconductor market is forecast to surpass $17 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9 percent for the period of 2014-2020. The big growth drivers include power modules, and more specifically, IGBTs, and new WBG devices, according to the Yole report. WBG solutions will account for about 5 percent of the overall market by 2020, although unit growth will be limited, said analysts.
“Power modules, and more precisely IGBTs, will lead this growth. Modules are expected to reach a CAGR 2014-2020 of 10.3 percent, compared to 5.1 percent growth for discrete components”, said Mattin Grao Txapartegi, technology & market analyst at Yole, in a statement. “This growth in the demand of IGBT modules is due to their improved overall performance in terms of efficiency and thermal conductivity management.”
“The new wide band gap (WBG) device market will also drive growth”, said Dr. Pierric Gueguen, business unit manager for Power Electronics & Compound Semiconductor activities, Yole.
The report also finds that Asian companies are expanding vertically in order to be fully integrated and to optimize costs. Chinese players, specifically, are focused on vertical integration to create market leaders in each application area such as photovoltaics, wind power, and electric vehicle/hybrid electric vehicles. In comparison, European and American companies continue to focus on horizontal integration, which drives partnerships and joint ventures.
Yole will present its analysis at CS International (Frankfurt, Germany on March 11-19, 2015 – Program). Dr. Gueguen, will discuss the status of WBG technologies and related components, and highlight market drivers and obstacles. Yole also will attend the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA on March 15-19, 2015 – Program).