DescriptionSiC propagates over all industrial segments. Contagion has begun…
PFC, PV INVERTER AND NOW RAIL APPLICATIONS ARE FUELING SiC SALES
In 2013, SiC chip business has almost reached $100m due to already well-established PFC applications that still drive large volumes of diodes and PV systems that, despite a depressed market, are the beachhead for newly SiC-powered inverter or micro-inverter line-ups. Surprisingly, train traction has adopted SiC sooner than expected because of the availability of 1.7kV full and hybrid modules that have been demonstrated and installed by Mitsubishi Electric in Japan.
Train could dynamically expand, exhibiting a >80% CAGR over 2015-2020, since we expect other rolling-stock manufacturers will quickly adopt SiC, first in metro and then in the high-speed trains. We also forecast PV inverters to keep on implementing SiC at an annual growth rate of almost 12%.
Adoption of SiC in train applications is significant in showing how SiC could play an important role in the high and very high voltage ranges (>1.7kV). We stay convinced that these voltage (and related power) ranges are exactly the place where SiC can bring added-value despite a price positioning that differs from silicon. Here savings are made at the system level, where passives and other cooling can be dramatically reduced when moving to SiC.
On the other hand, PFC will probably face more and more competition from GaN now that it is claimed to be able to compete in the 600V segment. Therefore we remain quite conservative regarding this application which may switch to Nitrides in the coming years.
This report will display the full coverage of SiC device market data, split by application to 2020.
SiC IN EV/HEV IS DELAYED BEYOND 2018
It has always been said that SiC could play a major role in EV/HEV power electronics. Most car makers agree there is a 10% fuel savings when moving from silicon to SiC in hybrid vehicles. For a pure electric car this metric (for a given battery pack) will translate into lower battery consumption or extended range. It is now obvious that EV/HEV could easily capture the biggest portion of the SiC business.
However, even though all technical indicators are green, the car industry is reluctant to implement SiC, claiming that the economics are not yet fully compatible with their expectations. Such conservatism heavily impacts our previous predictions. According to key industrial voices (Toyota, Denso, Honda, Nissan…), SiC will only be on the short list by 2018 for the most optimistic players and by 2020 for others. By adding GaN 600V Noff devices now in the starting blocks, we approach the most conservative scenario we developed in the past years exhibiting a SiC device business in 2020 that will exceed $400m.
The report highlights the SiC vs. Si bill-of-material comparisons for the most significant applications and concludes with the chances of SiC to penetrate each individual segment.
6” SiC WAFERS FOR POWER ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO TAKE PLACE IN 2016-2017.
For the n-type substrates, 4” wafers are the mainstream product on the market. The introduction of 6” n-type substrates in power electronic devices is slower than expected. The quality of the 6” wafer seems to still be an issue and the price is highly dependent on the quality, varying from $1300 to $2000. Additionally, supply of 6” wafers is still limited.
The ratio between the price of 6” and 4” n-type substrates is about 2.5X, which is still too high and does not make 6” wafers appealing for the device makers, despite their intention to transition to 6” to reduce device cost.
The price of 6” n-type wafers is expected to drop quickly in the next two years and fall below the $1000 threshold. The large scale transition to 6” is expected to take place in 2016-2017.
Concerning the players, Cree remains the market leader by far. II-VI, Dow Corning and SiCrystal follow. Asian players are gaining market share little by little, but their volumes are still small compared to the leading players.
The report will give a description of the SiC substrate and epitaxy market as well as the alternative technology to SiC substrate.
CHINESE PLAYERS ARE COMING INTO THE SiC PLAYGROUND
China is already a big player in the power electronics field with most of the integrators. At the device level, China has invested significant amounts in R&D and production of IGBTs in the recent years. Compared to US, Europe and Japan, China still has some way to go.
China is hoping to catch up with US, Europe and Japan in the power electronics field, with so called “third generation of semiconductors” (SiC & GaN…). Consequently, Chinese government has made significant funding in the SiC R&D and industrialization. Since 2006, several companies gradually enter the SiC playground. Now, there are Chinese companies covering the entire value chain, from materials to devices.
In Asia, Japan leads the SiC activities, China is catching up, and Korea is coming.
The report gives an overview of the SiC R&D and industry in China by describing the current status of key Chinese players.
This report provides a complete analysis of the SiC device, module and substrate. industry in the power electronics field along with key market metrics.
It provides company involvement as well as state-of-the-art technology.
Benchmark of SiC technology vs. main contenders: Si and GaN.
In addition, an extensive review of the manufacturing cost and key economics of SiC technology is provided, offering the most complete view of the SiC industry available to date.