With the adoption of SiC and GaN devices in the power electronics market, what is the future for silicon power MOSFETs?
In 2016, the market recovered, after a minor downturn in 2015
With steady growth, mainly in automotive and industrial sales, in 2016 the overall silicon power MOSFET market size surpassed 2014’s performance. We expect the market to grow steadily thanks to increasing demand for efficient electronics, in which power MOSFETs play a vital role. Overall market revenue neared US$6.2 billion. From 2016-2022 we estimate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4%.
25 million electrified vehicles were sold in 2016.Power MOSFET sales in automotive applications have surpassed computing and data storage, now representing more than 20% of the total market. As vehicle numbers increase worldwide and people adopt electrified vehicles, this sector’s rapid growth will continue at 5.1% CAGR for 2016–2022.
Power MOSFETs are widely used in various automotive applications involving braking systems, engine management, power steering and other small motor control circuits, in which a low conduction loss and high commutation speed device is very much appreciated. Silicon power MOSFETs are also becoming increasingly popular in EV/HEV converters, depending on their electrification level. For battery chargers MOSFETs can handle roughly 3-6 kW, which is perfect for small size plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) or full EVs. They are also used for 48V DC/DC converters and other micro inverters in the start/stop function module. With the trend of EV/HEV adoption led by Tesla, we believe this market segment will become increasingly important in the next 5-10 years.
This report also describes power MOSFETs’ presence and how they’re applied in different markets, including portable and wireless, audio and image, home appliance, medical, computing and storage, industrial and network and telecom. It offers a complete analysis covering different power MOSFET players including Infineon Technologies, On Semiconductors, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba, Vishay, Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, Nexperia, IXYS, Rohm and others. It also explores devices developed and implemented in applications including switch-mode power supply DC-DC converters, AC adapters, automotive on-board chargers, LED drivers, backlight converters. It contains a detailed analysis of these companies and their products across different applications and their respective market share in those market segments.
Coming challengers: SiC and GaN
Silicon power MOSFETs have been developing for 20 years. Ceaseless improvement and technology innovations from planar to trench structure and today’s super junction, have reduced silicon MOSFET device sizes and costs dramatically. They have been massively used in various application segments - but today, device performance has reached silicon’s theoretical limit.
Chasing better performance and even smaller devices size, today we are at the beginning of SiC and GaN’s adoption. Ever more new companies are promoting SiC and GaN solutions and new designs, and we believe this will be the next technology evolution stage. However, this does not necessarily mean doom for silicon power MOSFETs. Looking back at the development of bipolar transistors and power MOSFETs in the past 20 years in different applications, we expect that there will still be a very solid market share reserved for silicon power MOSFETs. With increasing need in the end applications, the overall market size for MOSFETs will not necessarily decline.
Over the next 5-10 years, Yole envisions some GaN devices coming out and being implemented for high frequency switch applications in the low-to-mid voltage 100-200V range, but remaining a small portion. Both SiC and GaN devices will penetrate the high frequency market around 600V, but will probably only be popular in particular markets, like EV on-board chargers and data center power supply units. The majority of the market will still use silicon power MOSFETs, thanks to their proven reliability and good cost performance ratio.
This report also compares the development plans for SiC and GaN devices with silicon MOSFETs, looks at their market position and the impact this evolution will have on industry players.
Balance and alliance in the industry – but are future titans incoming?
If we look at today’s market shares, Infineon Technologies has gained a leading place in a large number of market segments, owing to its acquisition of International Rectifier. On Semiconductor, a strong competitor in second place, is also making its first appearance after its acquisition of Fairchild. Renesas is following in a distant third place, even though it still has large shares in consumer and automotive.
Some believe we are about to see leading companies gain more share, taking advantage of economies of scale and increasing competitiveness. Some other companies are tilting toward a fabless mode, working with big Asian foundries like TSMC. With the development of SiC and GaN devices, it will be much easier for to switch to new technology. And with competition from China and Malaysia and readily-accessible foundries, the number of players in the industry and sales could increase, and device prices could fall.
This report analyzes different companies and their relative market share in various segments, and reveals their development plans for silicon MOSFET, SiC and GaN devices. You are also invited to discover our estimates of how different companies’ revenues will evolve with SiC and GaN development.
Objectives of the Report
This report’s objectives are to:
- Provide an overview of the entire power MOSFET market
- Analyze players in different markets, along with their product range and technologies
- Outline market participate from device design to package manufacturers
- Highlight the main technologies in power MOSFETs
- Explain the needs of different power markets and the corresponding impact on the needs for MOSFET technologies, along with geographical specifics