POWER ELECTRONICS & INVERTER INDUSTRY

Power electronics: a move towards 300mm

Extracted from:
- Status of the Power Electronics Industry report and Status of the Inverter Industry report published by Yole Développement
- SiC MOSFET Comparison, GaN-Based Wall Charger Comparison and Automotive Power Module Packaging Comparison from System Plus Consulting

OUTLINES:

  • Long term growth of the power electronics market is driving 300mm wafer-based production.
  • Power electronics manufacturers are expanding their fab capabilities to 300mm.
  • Electrification is still the key market drive of the power electronics industry.
  • Semiconductor market evolution towards higher power offers modules a boost.


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LYON, France – September 19, 2019: The power electronics industry is showing an healthy growth for several years now. According to its latest power electronics reports, Status of the Power Electronics Industry and Status of the Inverter Industry, Yole Développement (Yole) announces, in 2018, a US$53.4 billion inverter market as well as a US$17.5 billion for power semiconductor devices market segment.
“Key driving factors include electrical power conversion optimization and expansion, driven by electrification trends in transportation, CO2 emission reduction goals, the development of clean electricity sources, and industrialization”, details Ana Villamor, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole.
“The biggest increase will be seen in IGBT modules, which is still driven by the requirement for high power efficiency and density from the main power applications”,
adds Elena Barbarini, Head of Department Devices at System Plus Consulting. “Today, modules still represent 23% of the total market.”
The expected increase in the CAGR of IGBTs during the coming years is directly linked with the current investments in manufacturing lines from various players. Indeed, some of the big players are preparing for 300mm production…

Yole Group of Companies, including Yole and System Plus Consulting investigates the power electronics world for a while. The Group publishes all year long a multiple collection of technology, market, reverse engineering and costing reports focused on the power electronic markets and related products. Both companies combine their technical expertise and market knowledge to deliver valuable and comprehensive analyses.
Amongs its numerous reverse engineering and costing analyses, System Plus Consulting also proposes in-depth technical & cost comparisons. Aim of these reports is to present the state of the art of the technology, highlight similarities and differences in design and manufacturing processes, measure the impact at the device level and evaluage the production cost. These reports are useful to evaluate a technology, compare it with competitive solutions and select the most relevant one for its own project. SiC MOSFET Comparison, GaN-Based Wall Charger Comparison and Automotive Power Module Packaging Comparison are the most well-known. But the company proposes additional topics including RF , MEMS , optics…More

“The main driving application with a huge market potential and technological innovation is, without doubts, EV/HEVs ,” explains Ana Villamor from Yole. “But let’s not forget that there are other applications that are boosted by electrification needs and by EV/HEVs…”
This is the case in renewable energy, which is boosted by clean driving trends and growing electricity consumption. More grid lines also need to be deployed to sustain greater amounts of required energy. Similarly, more energy storage systems need to be deployed for better distribution of the energy to the grid. The grid must also reach newly installed EV charging stations outside cities, enabling many cars to be plugged in at the same time with an acceptable charging time. Moreover, if we take into account automated driving and long term V2X communication, more data centers could be required, more LiDAR systems, along with other supporting technology.

The power electronics industry is so experiencing a shift in its dynamics. The shift comes from the increase of demand predicted for coming years, which translates into a move for 300mm waferbased production. In 2018 there was saturation of 200mm wafer demand, leading to wafer price rise instead of wafer supply. As of today, more than seven power electronics players have announced investments in new fabrication capabilities, to be in production from 2021.
-  Infineon has invested US$1.9 billion in Villach to build a second fab for power devices on 300mm wafers (1) .
-  STMicroelectronics has also started the expansion of its Agrate site for 300mm production, for Bipolar CMOS-DMOS, power MOSFETs and IGBTs (2) .
-  Another example is Bosch, which has also started building its 300mm fab in Dresden (3) , preparing for the imminent increase in volumes for both automotive and IoT applications.
Chinese players have also started the expansion to 300mm, like Silan Microelectronics or GTA Semiconductors, the latter having confirmed that it is working on its automotive-grade IGBT production line… Chinese players have also started the expansion to 300mm, like Silan Microelectronics or GTA Semiconductors, the latter having confirmed that it is working on its automotive-grade IGBT production line…

The need for increasing performance as well as the introduction of new materials with different technical properties have pushed manufacturers to find new solutions, not only at the silicon level, but also in packaging… Obviously, all innovations have a cost, thus the improvements by manufacturers must take this factor into account.
“A bigger power module can have a higher cost by itself, but we always have to consider the final impact on the integration and the flexibility of assembling”, explains Elena Barbarini from System Plus Consulting. “The fast evolution of technology on all design levels and the cost of modules are the two factors that in recent years eliminated the presence of a standard in power module design, and we will expect even more innovation in the future.”

Yole Group of Companies is planning a EV/HEV event in Germany, by the end of the year. Batteries, charging, WBG technologies, packaging solutions and more will be part of this program.
Detailed agenda & logistics will come soon on i-Micronews.com (Contact: Léonor Martin, Yole Développement).
Stay tuned!


Sources:
(1) i-Micronews.com, May 2018
(2) EENEWSAnalog article, January 2019
(3)  i-Micronews.com, June 2017

Acronyms:
SiC: Silicon Carbide
GaN: Gallium Nitride
RF: Radio Frequency
MEMS: Micro Electro Mechanical Systems
EV/HEV : Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicle
V2X : Vehicle-to-Everything   
IoT : Internet of Things