Power electronic devices, such as power modules, have been historically driven mainly by applications such as photovoltaic inverters and motor drives. Nowadays, we see a boom in the demand for power modules for electric and hybrid electric vehicles (EV/HEV) as mentioned in Yole Développement’s report ‘Status of the Power Module Packaging Industry 2019’. This offers an opportunity for both power module packaging companies and suppliers of packaging materials to increase their market position by offering innovative solutions.
Although China is the biggest market for electric and hybrid electric vehicles (EV/HEVs), foreign suppliers still provide a big proportion of power modules integrated in systems in China. However, the share of Chinese power module and die makers is increasing and the quality and performance of these devices is continuously improving. Historical power module suppliers increasingly face strong competition from Chinese module makers like CRRC, Starpower and MACMIC.
Milan Rosina, Principal Analyst, Power Electronics & Batteries at Yole Développement, had the opportunity to discuss with Michael Yang, Product Manager at MACMIC on the subject. Read on to find out what we discussed.
Milan Rosina (MR): Could you briefly introduce your company and power module portfolio?
Michael Yang (MY): MACMIC is a national key high-tech company in China, which focuses on power semiconductors such as IGBT, MOSFET, FRD and SiC chips and modules. We have a chip design house and module assembly plant in Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, where MACMIC’s headquarters is located. Our major module products are widely used in the industrial control field, like inverters, welding machines, induction heating, Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS), and in new energy fields like photovoltaics and wind power, EVs and so on. In additional to the standard modules, we can also make Customer Specific Power Modules (CSPM) according to customers’ different requirements.
MY: What is your supply chain positioning and how will it evolve in the future?
MY: We design the chips and produce them by use of our wafer foundries. However, the modules are assembled by ourselves. Meanwhile, we also buy some wafers from our partners to accommodate the needs of our modules. We will maintain the current business model in the future.
MR: What is your business strategy for differentiating added value to face strong competition from historical power module leaders from outside of China?
MY: Pricing is the primary factor. We also try to provide better service and delivery time for our customers. In addition, we can also make some CSPMs.
MR: What are the biggest application markets you cover with power modules?
MY: Motor control inverters and EVs.
MR: In your opinion, how will EV/HEV needs reshape technology trends? Will there be more SiC? More silver sintering? More double side cooling? What about other e-mobility applications such as e-buses, e-trucks?
MY: EVs will be the biggest and most important market in China in the future. SiC devices are now used in DC-DC converters, on-board chargers, and will be massively used in motor drives.
Double side cooling and silver sintering are the critical package technologies used and will be increasingly used in the future.
e-buses are already used and e-trucks will be used in the future.
MR: What are the power module solutions you currently offer or that you will offer in the future to the EV/HEV market?
MY: We have three platform IGBT modules for EV now, similar to HP1, HP Driver and EconoDUAL3. The power ranges are from 650V/300A to 1200V/800A. SiC MOS modules have been sent to our customers for sampling.
MR: What are your newest innovations and products and what are your plans for the future?
MY: MacMic is definitely doing some new research on chips and modules. You will see our new products gradually released in the market in the future.
Michael Yang worked in the R&D department for a UPS company from 2004-2006, since when he has worked in the marketing sales department at MACMIC.
Milan Rosina, PhD, is Principal Analyst, Power Electronics & Batteries, at Yole Développement (Yole), within the Power & Wireless division. He is engaged in the development of the market, technology and strategic analyses dedicated to innovative materials, devices and systems. His main areas of interest are EV/HEV, renewable energy, power electronic packaging and batteries.
Milan has 20 years of scientific, industrial and managerial experience involving equipment and process development, due diligence, technology, and market surveys in the fields of renewable energies, EV/HEV, energy storage, batteries, power electronics, thermal management, and innovative materials and devices.
He received his PhD degree from Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP) in France.
Milan Rosina previously worked for the Institute of Electrical Engineering in Slovakia, Centrotherm in Germany, Fraunhofer IWS in Germany, CEA LETI in France, and utility company ENGIE in France.
Status of the Power Module Packaging Industry 2019
Major evolutions in substrate, interconnection, and die-attach technologies, driven by EV/HEV, are transforming the power module packaging supply chain
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