Consumer Electronics

Adoption of Wide Bandgap Power Devices Increases

25 July 2016

With falling prices and commercial availability of wide bandgap (WBG) power devices from multiple sources, the adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power devices in power supplies for computers, telecom equipment, photovoltaic inverters, electric vehicles, military devices and many other applications is on the rise. As a result, the research firm IHS is predicting the global market for SiC and GaN power semiconductors to cross the $1 billion mark in the next five years. Precisely it is expected to reach about $1.265 billion by 2020. Last year, it was estimated to be around $210 million. In the latest SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report, IHS analyst Richard Eden is projecting this market to grow with a double-digit annual growth for the next five to 10 years. In fact, according to Eden, the overall compound annual growth rate from 2015 to 2025 is estimated to be around 33%, driving the WBG power semiconductors market to $3.7 billion by 2025.

Declining prices and multiple sources of wide bandgap-based power devices is driving the adoption of SiC and GaN power devices. (Image Credit: IHS)   Declining prices and multiple sources of wide bandgap-based power devices is driving the adoption of SiC and GaN power devices. (Image Credit: IHS)

While SiC-based Schottky diodes have been available for over ten years, SiC-based MOSFETs, junction-gate FETs or JFETs, and bipolar junction transistors have commercially emerged in the last few years, including the 900 V SiC MOSFET with a price comparable to silicon. Plus the number of suppliers of discrete SiC power devices has also increased in the last few years, pushing more and more power supply designers toward SiC power devices. Consequently the information and insight source IHS is expecting SiC MOSFETs alone to generate revenues worth $300 million by 2025, to become the second-best-selling discrete power device type in the next five to 10 years.

Meanwhile GaN-on-silicon power transistors are ramping up in production and GaN power modules are beginning to emerge. As a result, by 2020, the research firm is expecting GaN-on-Si power devices to achieve price parity with silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs. However the IHS Report suggests the first GaN Schottky diodes are not expected to be commercially available before 2020. Accordingly this report is projecting the GaN power market to surpass $600 million by 2025. In the same timeframe, it is predicting the SiC power market to generate over $3 billion in revenues.

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