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Gate Driver Unit (GDU) Market for Power Transistors
Oct.2014

yole gate driver gdu interface schematics october 2014
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Description

Yole Gate Driver 1re couvs October 2014As an integral part of a powerstack’s “brain”, gate driver boards continue to improve power module and stack performance. A 10% CAGR is forecast for the gate driver board market from 2013-2020. The market will reach a total value of ~US$250M by 2020, driven by renewable energies, smart-grid implementation and automotive applications.


AN INTEGRAL PART OF A POWERSTACK’S “BRAIN”, GATE DRIVER UNITS (GDU) WILL INTEGRATE MORE FEATURES OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

Currently, performance improvement and increased system reliability are two important energy efficiency trends for reducing energy consumption. This is particularly essential for new wideband gap material, which offers higher frequency and temperature capabilities. In this context, the GDU must be improved to allow suitable performance for power transistors.
Typical criteria/requirements for GDU choice include:

    • Certification (i.e. reinforced acc. VDE884-10; ULxxx)
    • Price
    • Features and functions


There are plenty of circuits, boards, designs and technology solutions described in this report. Each solution is dedicated to solving a specific issue. However, the current GDU market offers no standard solution – only same functions such as:

    • Overvoltage clamping and shape control of the current driver during turn-OFF
    • Isolation
    • Short-circuit monitoring
    • VCE FAULT monitoring

Several ongoing improvements are focused on both silicon and wideband gap materials, especially in using the materials’ entire high-frequency capability. Objectives follow power stacks trend:

    • Effective switching solutions (for reduced overshoot and snubbers)
    • Allowance for higher frequency in order to reduce size
    • Finding a solution that works with different power module brands
    • Increased monitoring
    • Unsure reliability

This complex market includes captive and open players. There are several player types that develop GDUs – pure players, IC makers, power module and inverter makers, and integrators. Companies are also proposing improvements in IGBT/MOSFET performance through their driver technology, based on new design and software. With new software, some players (mainly pure GDU players) are developing intelligent monitoring solutions to improve the maintenance of systems. This is particularly critical for rail and avionics applications.

Yole Gate Driver GDU interface schematics October 2014

In this report, we will discuss the unsolved issues which must be improved on in the future, and the next steps for GDU trends.


MULTIPLE BUSINESS MODELS FOR GDU MANUFACTURERS ARE IN PLACE AND WILL REMAIN SO IN THE FUTURE

Today, no one manufacturer has differentiated itself via a cutting-edge technology. Power module makers and integrators have specific needs, and want to keep their know-how in-house. The same companies can utilize different business models depending on requirements. Integrators and power module makers can implement solutions from either external GDU providers or their customers, depending on specific needs.

Yole Développement’s report describes this complex market which includes both captive and open players. Within this market are several business models which fit the existing applications. The most widespread models target the high-volume market. Opposite, the figure describes two of the five business models. In this report, you will learn more about all five business models, including a description of each player and related applications.

Yole Gate Driver Examples of current business October 2014


A GDU MARKET WHICH CLOSELY FOLLOWS THE POWER MARKET’S OVERALL EVOLUTION

Our market forecast and analysis takes into account GDUs that are only used inside power modules and IPM (i.e. > 400V & > 3 amps). ASPs depend on the architecture implemented within the power module.

Yole Gate Driver 2010-2020 overall GDU market size October 2014

The GDU market will grow through 2020 at a 10% CAGR. The power device market’s recent instability (huge growth in 2011 followed by a big drop in 2012) had a strong impact on power module sales, and consequently on GDUs. This report evaluates the potential future growth of the GDU market, which depends on the following power electronics market trends:

    • Significant increase in the automotive sector following EV and HEV ramp-up
    • Renewable energies and smart-grid implementation driving industry sector ramp-up
    • Steady erosion of the consumer segment, including UPS, due to price pressure. However, volume (units) will continue increasing.
Yole Gate Driver Open  vs captive GDU market size October 2014

In this report, Yole Développement analyzes and forecasts the GDU market and related applications (i.e. for power transistors, including silicon, GaN and SiC materials).
This report also includes GDU 2013 - 2020 market forecasts for the following applications: high-power EV/HEV, PV, wind, UPS, motor drive and rail traction.

Yole Développement’s analysts present the main market and technology trends, as well as a deep understanding of the industry, its structure and its supply chain.


OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
The objectives of the report are to:

  • Review the technological challenges and solutions for GDU (also called gate driver board - GDB) dedicated to power electronics applications
  • Provide a comprehensive overview of the GDU playground
  • Offer an in-depth analysis of GDU technology and cost aspects dedicated to power electronics applications
  • Review a theoretical business model discussion
  • Evaluate market volume and market size through 2020

Table of contents

Table of contents 2
Authors 3
Acronyms 4
Terminology 5
Companies cited in this report 6
Report objectives 7
Executive summary 8
Latest news 29
Overall power electronics markets 34
GDU technology introduction 57
> Definitions
> What’s inside?
> Gate driver inside the power module
> Basic topology implementation
> Main gate driver requirements
> Isolation technology
> Gate driver requirements: gate driver topology
> Gate driver challenges
> Main gate driver constraints
> SiC use in comparison with available Si stack
> Conclusions

GDU players overview 72

> Market description: solutions & players
> Example of gate driver board makers – Offers and value proposition
> Company profiles
 GDU industrial supply chain 91
> Several current business models for GDU manufacturers
> Market landscape
> Tentative industrial supply chain

GDU 2010-2020 market forecast analysis 99

> Segmentation used in this report
> Criteria used for market forecast and analysis
> GDU - Market overview
> 2010-2020 overall GDU market size in $M, for devices > 400V
> 2013 power gate driver board market share, split by application
> 2013-2020 market size evolution in $M
> Power gate driver board market size, 2010-2020 evolution ($ and units), split by application
> 2013 power gate driver board market share, split by technology
> Power gate driver board market size, 2010-2020 evolution ($M and units), split by technology
> Open vs. captive GDU market size estimation for 2013, and 2010-2020 evolution
> Conclusions

General conclusions 115

 

Companies cited

ABB
Agile switch
Air Water
Allegro MicroSystems LLC
Alpha & Omega AOS
Alstom
Amantys
Applied Power Systems
Arkansas Power Electronics
Athena Energy
Avago Technologies
Avogy Inc.
AZZURRO
BeMiTec
Bombardier
BYD
CamGaN
Cissoid
CorEnergy
CREE
CT-CONCEPT
Danfoss
Dow Corning
Dowa Electronics Materials
Dynax Semiconductor Inc.
Dynex
Empresa de Manutenção de Equipamento Ferroviário (EMEF)
EPC
EpiGaN

Fairchild
Freescale
Fuji Electric
Fujitsu Semiconductor
Furukawa
GaN Systems
GeneSiC
Global Power Electronics
Hitachi
Hitachi Research Lab
IDS
Infineon
InPower Systems
Inrevium
International Rectifier
Ixys
MACMIC
Methode Electronics
MicroGaN
Microsemi Corporation
Mitsubishi Electric
Nitek Inc.
NTT
NXP
ON Semiconductor
Panasonic
Powdec
Power Integrations
Powerex
Prodrive
Prodrive-technologies
Raytheon
RFMD
Rohm
Sanken
SBE Inc.
Schneider Electric
Semikron AG
Sharp
Siemens
Sirectifier
ST
Starpower
STMicroelectronics
Sumitomo chemical
Sumitomo SEI
Texas Instruments
TM4
Tokyo Electron Device Limited
Toshiba
Transphorm Inc.
Triquint
United Silicon Carbide Inc.
Vincotech
Vishay
VisIC
X-REL Semiconductor

 

KEY FEATURES OF THE REPORT

  • Market forecasts in $US and units through 2020
  • Market segmentation for six different applications (EV/HEV, PV, wind, UPS, motor drive and rail traction)
  • Supply chain analysis & expected trends
  • Detailed business model analysis
  • Description of main players