Booming power GaN market: Well-deserved success stories from players | Quarterly Market Monitor

In the power electronics world, there is a common saying that the market is very conservative. But the story does not stop here. Yole Développement (Yole) gives you today all details…

Under the silicon domination, the wide band gap compound semiconductors SiC and GaN have faced big challenges to enter the market during long time. But in the last two years things have changed drastically for both materials: SiC has made its entry in Tesla’s cars in 2018, while GaN found its way in the Oppo, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme’s fast chargers in Q4-2019 and Q1-2020. While SiC continues its flight, GaN has only started its bright journey and is evolving very rapidly.

Yole’s analysts announces a market revenue projection of beyond US$ 3 billion for power SiC market by 2025; in parallel, the power GaN industry is showing an impressive growth and is expected to reach beyond US$ 700 million at the end of this period too.

Yole’s latest release of its quarterly analysis gives you a detailed picture of this dynamic industry. What is the latest news? What is the status of the market indicators? Is the market really growing/decreasing? What are the revenues of the leading companies? What are their strategies to face the market evolution? The market research & strategy consulting company is unveiling today, within its Compound Semiconductor (CS) Quarterly Market Monitor, its Q1 2020 analysis.

Y2019/2020: the year of GaN?

Beginning of 2020 has been full of exciting news in GaN power industry in the high volume consumer fast charger market. Following announcements have caught the attention of Yole’s analysts:

  • Chinese smartphone OEM Oppo released its luxury flagship model, Reno ACE, integrating “inbox” Super VOOC 65W fast charger using GaN technology.
  • Chinese smartphone OEM Xiaomi announced launching 65W rated accessory GaN USB-C fast charger for Xiami Mi 10 Pro series, using GaN-on-Silicon devices from Navitas.
  • Chinese smartphone OEM Realme announced launching its X50 Pro 5G phone with “inbox” GaN chargers using SuperDart Charger protocol.
  • In addition to shipping 45W accessory chargers to Samsung, well established power management company Power Integrations announced also achieving a design win at the OEM for “inbox” 45W fast charger.

In this context, Yole’ compound semiconductor team announces 16% Q/Q growth for the Q4-2019 revenue.

Compound Semiconductor Quarterly Market Monitor tracks the emerging SiC and GaN power markets as well as major actors’ revenues on a quarterly basis and provides a market projection in device, epiwafer and wafer market.

“This is only the beginning of power GaN market’s emergence,” asserts Ezgi Dogmus, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole. “GaN has taken an important leap in its challenging course and is expected to also enter other major OEMs’ such as Apple and Huawei fast chargers. In this context, 2020 and 2021 are important years to watch for further market acceptance and the speed of GaN based high power changers’ proliferation.”

How will the GaN industry playground shape?

Historically, GaN power devices were introduced by pioneering start-up companies EPC, Transphorm, GaN Systems, Navitas, Exagan and many more, partnering leading foundries such as TSMC, Episil and X-FAB. Meanwhile, Yole witnessed launch of GaN products from integrated device manufacturers in silicon based discrete and power module industry such as Infineon Technologies, Panasonic (In Q4-19, Panasonic sold its semiconductor business, including GaN power technology, to Taiwan based Nuvoton Technology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Winbond Electronics), as well as Power management business such as Texas Instruments, Alpha and omega and Power Integrations. In fact, the majority of the established players have R&D projects on GaN. Following the entry of GaN devices into high volume fast charger consumer applications, GaN power ecosystem has already started to evolve.

Beginning of 2020 has also been full of new partnerships and acquisition announcements from integrated device manufacturers and start-up companies.

“As a leading actor in SiC power market, ST Microelectronics has made major strategic actions showing clearly its ambition for the emerging power GaN market”, details Ahmed Ben Slimane, Technology & Market Analyst from Yole. “Following its entry in the GaN business in Q4-2018, the company desires to strengthen its GaN power portfolio and accelerate its production, through its partnership with the key GaN foundry TSMC and acquisition of majority stakes of innovative French startup Exagan.”

In Q4-2019 and Q1-2020, successful headlines from two pioneering startups, GaN systems and Transphorm, have caught Yole’s attention. Both companies possessing wide variety of GaN products for several power electronic markets have announced partnerships and investment for the exciting automotive market. GaN Systems received an investment from SPARX Group “Mirai Creation Fund II, including Toyota Motor Corporation targeting EV/HEV applications.

Furthermore, Transphorm, who announced having completed a reverse merger with Peninsula Acquisition Corp (a public Delaware corporation) and raising US$21 million in a private placement equity financing. In Q1-2020, the company signed a partnership agreement with Italian Tier 1 Magneti Marelli for developing power converters, onboard chargers and inverters for electric and hybrid vehicles. In this context, this partnership represents great opportunity for Transphorm, who already offers AEC qualified GaN devices for the automotive applications.   

GaN and SiC power businesses: what’s next?

Now the questions which come would be the following: Who will be the next one to announce exciting news? What will be the investment strategy of the players who would like to benefit from the booming GaN power business? How will the GaN supply chain evolve? How to get the biggest piece of the cake in the growing GaN consumer and automotive markets?

The beginning of 2020 shows that this year will be the year of GaN. But SiC is certainly continuing its emergence. Driven mainly by the EV/HEV, EV charging infrastructure, and power supply applications, Yole expects SiC power discrete and modules to play a key role in the upcoming years. 

Yole’s Compound Semiconductor Quarterly Market Monitor on SiC and GaN power applications will be published every beginning of March (Q1), June (Q2), September (Q3) and December (Q4). Aim of these services is to provide an in-depth coverage of rapidly changing market dynamics and main players’ status and strategy.

This is why Yole’s services will also evolve and incorporate step by step a new module on RF GaAS and RF GaN markets in the Q3 2020 edition, next to the existing Power GaN and Power SiC module. Stay tuned to to get further info. about Yole’s compound semiconductor & power electronics activities!

About the compound semiconductor team at Yole Développement

As a Technology & Market Analyst, Compound Semiconductors, Ezgi Dogmus, PhD is member of the Power & Wireless division at Yole Développement (Yole). She is daily contributing to the development of these activities with a dedicated collection of market & technology reports as well as custom consulting projects.

Upon graduating from University of Augsburg (Germany) and Grenoble Institute of Technology (France), Ezgi received her PhD in Microelectronics at IEMN (France).

Ahmed Ben Slimane, PhD. is a Technology & Market Analyst, specialized in Compound Semiconductors at Yole Développement (Yole). As part of the Power & Wireless team, Ahmed is contributing to the development of dedicated collection of compound semiconductors market & technology reports and monitor.

During this career, Ahmed Ben Slimane proposed lot of presentations towards an international audience. He authored/co-authored more than 20 publications in the semiconductor field, and submitted a patent on the III-V hetero-structure for PV industry. 

Ahmed obtained his Master degree in Electronics Engineering from INPG (Grenoble, France).


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