The global power semiconductor market for cars and light passenger vehicles is forecast to grow by more than $3 billion over the next six years, according to IHS Markit. The total market for power semiconductors – discretes, power modules and power ICs – will grow at an annual rate of 7.5 percent from 2015 to 2022, increasing from $5.5 billion in 2016 to $8.5 billion in 2022.
The key drivers behind the robust growth include the electrification of vehicles, as well as self-driving, green and connected cars, according to the “Power Semiconductors in Automotive – 2017” report.
“Increasing electrification in vehicles generally – and in hybrid and electric vehicles specifically – is energizing the market for power semiconductors in vehicles,” said Richard Eden, senior analyst, power semiconductors for IHS Markit, in a statement. “Staying connected via smartphones and tablets is the modern way of life and to this end, today’s car drivers are opting for Bluetooth, cellular technologies and other telematics functions. All these features require power semiconductors to distribute and control power through vehicles.”
The report also noted that “intermediate safety milestones such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and platooning are necessary to realize a road system that will accommodate self-driving cars.”
The key drivers for larger purchases of power semiconductors include more fuel-efficient systems, electric vehicles, and electronic content per vehicle for improved vehicle emission levels.
Of the five categories in automotive – body and convenience, chassis and safety, infotainment, powertrain, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), powertrain accounted for 47 percent of the total market for automotive power semiconductors in 2015, said IHS Markit.
The powertrain market share is expected to rise to 54 percent of the total market over the forecast period of 2015 to 2022, driven by growth in sales of hybrid and electric vehicles over the next few years. Power semiconductor sales is forecast to increase by a 9.6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the forecast period across all vehicles.
IHS Markit analysts expect discrete IGBT power transistors to account for most of the powertrain power semiconductor revenue. However, IHS also noted that “increased integration of discretes into modules will cause IGBT power module sales to increase at a much faster rate.”
The chassis and safety segment follows powertrain in growth, accounting for 24 percent of the total market in 2015. However, sales of power semiconductors in this segment will only grow at a CAGR of 3.1 percent. The biggest applications cited in the report include electric power steering, anti-lock braking system and electronic stability control, airbags and tire pressure monitoring.
The body and convenience and infotainment segments accounted for 14 percent and 11 percent of the total automotive power semiconductor market in 2015, respectively, said IHS. Both categories are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4 to 5 percent over the forecast period.
ADAS is pegged as the smallest segment with only 5 percent of the total market in 2015; however, IHS expects ADAS to see the fastest growth of all five domains, growing at a CAGR of 16 percent from 2015 to 2022. “ADAS will see a rapid increase in the number of sensors, cameras and interconnectivity systems in cars, and all will need power semiconductors in their power control circuitry,” according to the report.
The average sales per vehicle by power semiconductor type will grow at different CAGRs over the forecast period, the report finds.
The power modules value per vehicle is forecast to rise with CAGR twice that of the overall average from 2015 to 2022, whereas power ICs will grow only slightly faster than the overall rate. Both of these confirm that the integration of discrete power semiconductor functions into ICs and power modules is set to continue.
In addition, the value of the different types of power semiconductors also vary. The report finds that discrete power semiconductors have the highest average value per car primarily because they have the lower average sales price, and are used in the cheapest automotive electronic systems, including engine, transmission control units, electrified oil pumps and power systems.
On the flip side, power ICs are newer and more expensive and provide slightly less average value per car. They are primarily used in high-end vehicles and newer cars that have features like ADAS, said IHS.
Power modules come in last because they are only used in larger, high-end vehicles and hybrid/electric vehicles.