GATE DRIVERS MARKET OVERVIEW

Gate driver ICs will be challenged by greater integration and GaN and SiC technologies

Gate Driver Market and Technology Trends 2017 report – Yole Développement – March 2017

OUTLINES:

  • The gate driver IC market will benefit from the steady growth of the power semiconductor industry.
  • New technical requirements related to isolation or the use of GaN and SiC power transistor demand advanced drive IC technologies to be developed.
  • The supply chain of the gate driver is evolving, pushed by higher integration needs, as well as an increasing need for more complete product solutions.

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LYON, France – April 6, 2017: “The gate driver IC market will benefit from the steady growth of the power semiconductor industry”, announces the Power Electronics team from Yole Développement (Yole). Indeed, in recent years, a much greater percentage of home appliances, electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, including mild hybrids, and renewable energy products have implemented dedicated power semiconductors devices on-board.
According to the “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company Yole, gate driver ICs will benefit from power semiconductors delivering a 6.1% CAGR from 2017-2022. The gate driver IC market revenue, which was estimated to have been US$1.2 billion in 2016, is forecast to have a 5.1% CAGR for 2017-2022.
In its new gate driver report titled Gate Driver Market and Technology Trends, Yole’s analysts examine the different types of gate driver IC and related market sizes, split by single channel, half-bridge, full bridge, and three phase. The report also presents the different market segments by application (Including automotive, consumer, industrial, computers, and communication) and by voltage (From less than 400V and up to 1,200V). With this new power electronic technology and market report, Yole’s team aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of gate driver market segments, opportunities, business models, and technology trends.

Key results will be presented during Yole’s Market Briefing at PCIM Europe 2017. Yole’s presentation titled “Status of the Gate Driver industry”, takes place on May 18 at 2:00 pm (Speaker: Jonathan Liao, Technology and Market at Yole). To discover the program & speakers, click Power Electronics Market Briefing.

Most of power MOSFETs and IGBTs are driven by gate drivers IC. However, while almost all IGBTs require a gate driver, MOSFETs are showing a considerably lower usage of gate driver ICs. Gate driver ICs utilization varies on voltage and power levels and it strongly depends on the applications. According to Yole’s analysts, in 2016, more than 60% of the gate drivers IC market correspond to the ones combined with MOSFETs. But this figure step by step decreases slowly and appear to be stabilizing. In parallel IGBT market share increases. As a consequence, the revenue gap between MOSFET and IGBT gate drivers will be quickly narrowing in a near future.

“Usage of single channel and half bridge gate driver ICs will increase over the next few years due to the need for isolation integration”, explains Jonathan Liao, Senior Analyst & Business Development Manager at Yole. And he adds: “Half bridge gate driver ICs are estimated to have accounted for over 40% of gate driver revenues in 2016. Single side gate driver ICs were the second most popular topology with about 30% of revenue. While full bridge and three phase gate drivers are mostly found in motor control and inverter applications for low-mid power.”

From a technology point of view, new requirements related to isolation or the use of GaN and SiC power transistors demand advanced driver IC technologies to be developed.
Over recent years, all major players have started providing isolation-integrated products, the coreless transformer being the main type. “Having isolation in the same package as the driver IC provides greater integration, which is sought by many system manufacturers”, explains Mattin Grao Txapartegi, Technology & Market Analyst, Power Electronics at Yole. Gate driver report from Yole is an in-depth technical analysis including several main types of isolation techniques such as pulse transformers, level shifters, opto-isolators and coreless transformers, their primary applications, disadvantages and advantages. This new power electronic report also details how companies are positioned on the use and development of these technologies.

Besides isolation technologies, niche applications such as high temperature operation and other harsh environment requirements provide additional growth opportunities for gate drivers. SiC-based power switches can endure high temperature environments with the material’s high Tj and Te performance characteristics. Companies such as Cissoid and X-Rel Semiconductor are looking to capitalize on the potential of SiC in these niche applications.

GaN FETs can switch at a much higher frequency than silicon-based MOSFETs. Higher frequency provides advantages but also challenges. Yole provides a case study of Navitas, a company trying to incorporate a GaN FET with GaN drivers on the same substrate. This monolithic solution, integrating the power transistor and its driver, shows the level of involvement of several GaN and SiC players, in order to get adequate drivers to facilitate the use of wide band gap devices in the new generation of converters. This report includes a complete chapter on the new requirements needed for GaN and SiC power transistor gate drivers.

A detailed description of Gate Driver Market and Technology Trends 2017 report is available on i-micronews.com, power electronic reports section.


Acronyms:
IC : Integrated Circuit
CAGR : Compound Annual Growth Rate
GaN : Gallium Nitride
SiC : Silicon Carbide
Tj : Junction Temperature
Te : Environment Temperature




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