GaN and SiC Power Semiconductors to reach $1 billion sales by 2020

11 March, 2016

IHS SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report forecast accelerated growth up to $1 Billion in 2020, and $3.7 billion sales by 2025

IHS SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report forecast accelerated growth up to $1 Billion in 2020, and $3.7 billion sales by 2025


The expanding market for silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors is driven by demand from hybrid and electric vehicles, power supplies and photovoltaic (PV) inverters. IHS SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report predicts the Worldwide revenue to reach $3.7 billion in 2025, up from just $210 million in 2015.

SIC-POWER-SEMICONDUCTORSSiC Schottky diodes have been on the market for more than 10 years, with SiC metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET), junction-gate field-effect transistors (JFET) and bipolar junction transistors (BJT) appearing in recent years.

SiC MOSFETs are proving very popular among manufacturers. The introduction of 900 Volts SiC MOSFETs, priced to compete with silicon Super Junction MOSFETs, as well as increased competition among suppliers, forced average prices to fall in 2015.

“Declining prices will spur faster adoption of the technology,” said Richard Eden, senior market analyst for power semiconductor discretes and modules at IHS Technology. “In contrast, GaN power transistors and GaN modules have only just recently appeared in the market. GaN is a wide band gap material offering similar performance benefits to SiC, but with greater cost-reduction potential.

“This price and performance advantage is possible, because GaN power devices can be grown on silicon substrates that are larger and less expensive than SiC. Although GaN transistors are now entering the market, the development of GaN Schottky diodes has virtually stopped.”

Major segments

sic-rohmBy 2020, GaN-on-silicon (Si) devices are expected to achieve price parity with and performance as silicon MOSFETs and insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). When this benchmark is reached, the GaN power market is expected to surpass $600 million in 2025.

The more established SiC power market — mainly of SiC power modules — will hit $3 billion in the same time period.

IHS forecasts that by 2025, SiC MOSFETs will generate revenue exceeding $300 million, almost catching Schottky diodes to become the second best-selling SiC discrete power device type. Meanwhile, SiC JFETs and SiC BJTs are each forecast to generate much less revenue than SiC MOSFETs, despite achieving good reliability, price and performance.

“While end users now prefer SiC MOSFETs, the SiC JFETs and BJTs look likely to remain specialized niche products,” Eden said; “however, the largest revenues are expected to come from hybrid and full SiC power modules.”

Hybrid SiC power modules, combining Si IGBTs and SIC diodes, have generated approximately $38 million in sales in 2015 and full SiC power modules are only two or three years behind in the ramp-up cycle. Each module type is forecast to achieve over $1 billion in revenue by 2025.

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