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Module packaging driven by SiC and GaN, says Yole


The introduction of the wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors SiC and GaN is pushing the development of new power module packaging solutions, according to a new report by the market research and strategy consulting company, Yole Developpment.

The power module packaging industry is currently worth $1.2 billion, a little more than a third of the total power module market. The market's CAGR between 2017-2023 will be 8.2 percent, coming close to a $2 billion business opportunity by 2023." It is a very dynamic market, where continuous innovations and material enhancements and a lot of R&D investment are needed", comments Alejandra Fuentes Suarez, technology and market analyst at Yole.

SiC technologies are expected to reach 29 percent CAGR between 2017 and 2023. The latest Model3 inverter from Tesla is one example, showing the added-value of STMicroelectronics' SiC power module, reverse engineered by System Plus Consulting (a Yole company). The module contains two SiC MOSFETs with an innovative die attach solution and connected directly on the terminals with copper clips and thermally dissipated by copper baseplates. System Plus Consulting's report, Automotive Power Module Packaging Comparison 2018 details the physical composition and cost of ten modules for automotive applications from five different manufacturers. Analysts reviewed the different topologies and techniques used for the module packaging. Under this new report, System Plus Consulting's analysts highlight the specificities of each solution, defined by the car makers.

"There is not yet a standardised package in automotive application" comments Farid Hamrani, cost engineer at System Plus Consulting.

With two major technical trends, over-molded double-side cooled modules for hybrid cars and single-side cooled modules with pin-fin baseplates for full electric cars, this industry is dominated by IGBT power modules. "The IGBT power module market grew 18.1 percent in 2017", said Milan Rosina, senior technology and market analyst, Power Electronics & Batteries at Yole. "No doubt today, that IGBT modules are driving the power module packaging materials business."

Indeed 2017 was an impressive year for the IGBT power module market. And 2018 perspectives are even better, with over 20 percent growth in the first half of the year. The main explanation of this drastic market explosion is the boost from the EV/HEV sector, especially in China. It has also been an exceptional year for industrial motor drives in Asia. In parallel, other device modules, like those based on MOSFETs and bipolar transistors, show a slight decrease.

Consequently the overall power module market is expected to be over $5.5 billion in 2023. This promising market is directly beneficial for the packaging material business.

At Semicon Europa and Electronica in November, in Munich, Germany, Yole will present two key power electronics & compound semiconductor presentations:

How battery pack evolutions create opportunities for power electronics companies on Nov. 15 at 12:20 PM during the Battery Session.

GaN power HEMT reliability research within the POWERBASE, taking place the same day at 2:00 PM during the Power Electronics Session.

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