POWER GAN - INDUSTRY UPDATE

Power GaN achieves its first milestone

Extracted from the following reports:
- Power GaN 2019: Epitaxy, Devices, Applications & Technology Trends report, Yole Développement, 2019
- Medium Voltage GaN HEMT vs SuperJunction MOSFET Comparison, System Plus Consulting, 2019
- GaN-on-Sapphire HEMT Power IC by Power Integrations report, System Plus Consulting, 2019
- Power GaN Patent Landscape, Knowmade, 2019

OUTLINES:

  • First design-win for GaN HEMTs in the high-volume smartphone fast charging market.
  • Things are changing for GaN power in 2019 – it’s entering mainstream consumer applications!
  • High-volume GaN fast charging market: different scenarios are foreseeable.
  • Which technology and company will earn the biggest slice of pie?


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LYON, France – December 4, 2019: It is now a fact. GaN starts playing the big league. Indeed few weeks ago, thanks to a reverse engineering & costing report performed by System Plus Consulting‘s team, GaN-on-Sapphire HEMT Power IC by Power Integrations, the power electronics industry discovered with surprise the use of GaN within an Anker’s wall charger.
“Beyond Anker and its innovative GaN-based charger, we clearly see today a shift of the power electronics & compound semiconductor industry”, comments Ezgi Dogmus, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole).
Leading players, OPPO and Power Integrations are now reshuffling the cards of this market. Yole Group of companies including Yole and System Plus Consulting had the opportunity to exchange with Doug Bailey, VP Marketing at Power Integrations and debate about GaN adoption. The interview “GaN starts playing the big league… – An interview with Power Integrations” is available on i-Micronews.com.
Yole and System Plus Consulting are so deeply engaged in the analysis of the power GaN industry. Both companies are working together day by day to get a deep understanding of the market and its status. They follow innovations, evaluate their impact on the market and analyze the strategy of the leading players. Their aim is to get a comprehensive overview of the transformation of the industry. This month, Yole and System Plus Consulting are proud to announce two dedicated reports related to GaN technologies, respectively Power GaN 2019: Epitaxy, Devices, Applications & Technology Trends and Medium Voltage GaN HEMT vs SuperJunction MOSFET Comparison. Both reports are a smart combination of Yole and System Plus Consulting technical and market expertise.
So where do we stand now? How big is the power GaN market? How will it evolve? GaN vs. Si, GaN-on-Sapphire, GaN-on-Si…Which technology will dominate the world? And which company will earn the biggest slice of pie?... Yole and System Plus Consulting analysts take you today to get a relevant comprehension of this industry and disclose the technical and market issues.

“Over the last decade, the GaN power market has been driven mostly by high-end, high performance applications offering high-frequency switching, low on-resistance, and smaller form factor at system level”, comments Ezgi Dogmus from Yole. “But things are changing for GaN power in 2019…”
GaN is now entering mainstream consumer applications! Following its inclusion in several aftermarket chargers, Chinese OEM Oppo announced the adoption of a GaN HEMT device in its 65W inbox fast-chargers for its new Reno Ace flagship model. This is the first time GaN power devices have entered a high-volume smartphone market, and it is likely to be a real game-changer for GaN power.

In addition to the exciting consumer market, GaN is attracting lots of attention from various OEMs and Tier1s, i.e. Valeo and Continental in the automotive industry. Indeed, GaN is very interesting for emerging 48V DC/DC in mild hybrid electric vehicles and on-board chargers in electrified vehicles. Players like EPC and Transphorm have already obtained AEC qualification, and GaN Systems, which benefits from its BMW i Ventures investment, expects qualification by next year. According to Yole, these device manufacturers are working closely with packaging companies like ASE, AT&S, and Schweitzer to enter the OEM supply chain and enjoy increasing volumes starting in 2023 – 2024.

GaN is also expected to penetrate industrial and telecom power supply applications including datacom, base stations, UPS, and industrial LiDAR applications. Following the first small-volume adoption of GaN-based power supplies by Eltek, Delta, and BelPower over the last few years, Yole's analysts expect broader penetration of GaN in the near future, with increasing efficiency requirements in data centers benefiting from enhanced GaN device maturity + cost-competitiveness.
Overall, compared to Yole’s 2018 power GaN technology & market report and its two market scenarios, this year’s market forecast is much brighter than 2018’s base-case thanks to GaN’s adoption in Oppo’s inbox fast chargers. Driven mainly by such consumer fast-charger applications, Yole’s power & wireless team projects that the GaN power business will exceed US$350 million by 2024, with 85% CAGR between 2018 and 2024.

Out of all the GaN-based power supply applications, inbox fast-charging is likely to be the killer application for the GaN power device market. Over the last two years, SoC and SiP primarily from Navitas, along with power integrations, have managed to enter at least 50 aftermarket fast charger brands, including Ravpower, Anker, and Aukey. As mentioned earlier, one of the year’s most significant developments was Oppo’s adoption of GaN HEMTs for 65W inbox fast charging in its high end model. In addition, very recently the leading OEM Samsung has also shown its interest in high power fast charging based on GaN technology, by adopting 45W fast chargers in its mobile accessory. What other possible market scenarios exist for GaN adoption in this mass market?
At Yole, analysts anticipate proliferation of Chinese OEM challengers such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi in the emerging 5G luxury smartphone business, which demands significant technology differentiation. Oppo’s SuperVOOC 2.0 meets these demands, with its reduced charging time and charger size. Other Chinese OEMs have also announced very high-power fast charging (beyond 100W), and could potentially adopt GaN devices in the coming years. In light of these prospective achievements, the overall GaN device market is nominally expected to surpass Yole’s market estimation announced previously.
In a more optimistic scenario, with Chinese OEMs deploying high-power fast chargers, GaN could also be adopted by other players in the inbox chargers. For example, in Q4-2019, the leading OEM Samsung has adopted GaN HEMT device in its 45W accessory fast-chargers. This is great news for GaN. In this context, a bigger market expansion in the consumer applications can be expected, once GaN achieves high maturity and market acceptance as well as cost-competitiveness compared to Si MOSFETs

System Plus Consulting deeply investigated GaN competitive landscape and made a significant comparison with SJ MOSFET technologies. SJ was commercially released for the first time in 1998 by Infineon Technologies. Today new players are entering the market, but the historical players keep their lead by decreasing production costs as much as possible or by introducing different technologies. The improvement of silicon SJ MOSFETs will keep these devices on the market and drive them towards standardization and popularization.
“GaN-on-Si HEMTs are good competitors for silicon SJ MOSFETs in the 600/650V power device range”, explains Amine Allouche, Junior Costing Analyst at System Plus Consulting. “Indeed they offer new capabilities, such as higher switching frequencies, higher power density and an increasingly competitive manufacturing cost.”…

The power GaN collection of reports from System Plus Consulting, Knowmade and Yole is now available on i-Micronews.com.

Acronyms:
GaN: Gallium Nitride
HEMT : High Electron Mobility Transistor
IC: Integrated Circuit
OEM : Original Equipment Manufacturer
EPC: Efficient Power Conversion
AEC: Automotive Electronics Council
CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
SoC : System-on-Chip
SiP : System-in-Package
Si : Silicon
SJ: Superjunction
EV/HEV : Electric Vehicle / Hybrid Electric Vehicle