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SiC-based devices show aggressive penetration

Demand for lighter, smaller, cheaper and more efficient systems jump starts an evolution of new semiconductor technologies using silicon carbide
Conversion and motion amidst the power electronics industry has increased demand for lighter, smaller, cheaper and more efficient systems.

Beginning at the semiconductor level, four technologies are best suited to handle new system requirements; silicon IGBT, Super Junction (SJ) MOSFETs, GaN and SiC -based devices.

IGBTs are expected to account for $1.6 billion in the medium to high voltage sector, while SJ MOSFETs are estimated to reach $567 million by the end of 2012.

While global market revenue for SiC-based semiconductor devices will only account for 1 percent of the total market for semiconductor devices, the SiC sector is forecasted to grow 37 percent per year to reach $5.34 billion by the end of the next decade through aggressive market penetration.

Yole Développement, in partnership with Global Information has released two new reports on the global market for semiconductors and power devices.

The first report, "Status of the Power Electronics Industry", highlights the trends of the disruptive power semiconductors technology and market. The second report, "Power Fabs Database 2012", presents a global picture of today's power electronics manufacturing industry.


In 2012, the market for semiconductor devices (discrete, modules and ICs) dedicated to the power electronics industry will reach $20 billion. With applications as diversified as hybrid cars, PV inverters, lighting, energy, and voltage ranging from a few volts to a few thousands volts, power electronics is and will remain one of the most attractive branches of the semiconductor industry over the next decade.

While SJ MOSFETs see new players and foundry service suppliers, the IGBT dies' industry is being consolidated by the presence of large players involved in many applications. These include Infineon, Mitsubishi Electric and Fuji. However, the IGBT (and SJ MOSFET) modules business is increasing and  new players are expected to provide solutions for cooling, interconnections, substrates, packaging, and gel.

On the other hand, the SiC industry, in which Cree is a major player, is now an interesting playground for new players. With access to lower cost material, the SiC industry now has the possibility to ramp up and  organise itself. However, apart from the PFC business, technological capabilities of SiC show that it will surely be dedicated to high power/voltage applications.

Last but not least, SiC companies have appeared in China, which will definitely provide competition and tougher access to local markets according to Yole.

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