The power of electronics

All power electronics companies take benefit of the impressive health of the industry

While industrial applications remain the biggest market for the power electronics companies today, the main application driving the future market, with huge market potential and technological innovation, is EV/HEVs. According to Yole Développement (Yole) and its Status of the Power Electronics Industry report, the power electronics industry for EV/HEV applications is showing an impressive 20.7% CAGR between 2018 and 2024.

This power electronics market also impacts other applications boosted by the need for electrification, such as renewable energy which is boosted by clean driving trends and growing electricity consumption. Charging stations need to be installed for a proper geographical coverage, both inside and outside the cities. Considering that big stations on highways will be required to fast charge many cars simultaneously, more grid lines need to be deployed to sustain greater amounts of energy.

Energy storage systems also need to be deployed for better distribution of the energy to the grid, and to buffer energy close to charging stations (e.g. as solar energy from panels close to the stations).

Other trends such as autonomous driving require more data exchange, for example, for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, more data centers, more Radar and LiDAR systems, together with other supporting technology.

Yole’s analysts highlight a complete synergy between these applications and the increase of the automotive market, particularly in EV/HEV.

All these factors will be translated into healthy growth of the power electronics industry, which will grow from a US$53.4 billion market for power inverters in 2018 to US$72.6 billion in 2024 (Source: Status of the Inverter Industry report, Yole Développement, 2019).

When looking at the device level, the biggest market for discrete parts is for MOSFETs, but the growth is really in higher power applications which will require IGBTs or SiC to reach the desired efficiency. This translates into a continuous increase in IGBT and MOSFET sales, with 3.7% and 4.6% CAGR2018-2024, respectively. The growth in MOSFET already takes into account SiC penetration in the coming years, with a big push in the EV segment.

The biggest growth will be seen in IGBT modules, which is still driven by the requirement for high power efficiency and density from the main power applications. Today, modules still represent 23% of the total market. The new applications, such as Energy Storage, Charging Infrastructure and EVs, demand modules with various power levels and reliability requirements, which will lead to a vast choice of power modules in the coming years.

Need for better performance as well as the introduction of new materials with different technical properties have pushed power electronics companies to identify, invest and develop innovative solutions at both levels, silicon and packaging.

System Plus Consulting, a partner of Yole, is clearly expecting many significant innovations in the near future. Cost is of course a key point in the development process and power electronics companies ensure a global approach by considering the final impact on integration and flexibility of assembly. At APEC 2019, System Plus Consulting offered a valuable cost analysis with an impressive comparison between different automotive power modules.

To sum up, the automotive market is driving a re-shaping of the power electronics industry, with the implementation of 300mm fabs for an increase in production together with technology improvements for better performance and efficiency of the power modules.

Yole Group of Companies, including System Plus Consulting and Yole, will keep a close eye on the next steps of the power electronics players…

About the authors:

As Head of Department Devices, Elena Barbarini, PhD. is in charge of costing analyses for MEMS ,IC and Power Semiconductors. She has a deep knowledge of Electronics R&D and Manufacturing environment. Elena holds a Master in Nanotechnologies and a PhD in PowerElectronics.

Ana Villamor, PhD serves as a Technology & Market Analyst, Power Electronics & Compound Semiconductors within the Power & Wireless division at Yole Développement (Yole). She is involved in many custom studies and reports focused on emerging power electronics technologies at Yole Développement, including device technology and reliability analysis (MOSFET, IGBT, HEMT, etc). In addition, Ana is leading the quarterly power management market updates released in 2017.
She holds an Electronics Engineering degree completed by a Master and PhD. in micro and nano electronics from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (SP).

Related reports:

Status of the Power Electronics Industry

Long term growth of the power electronics market is driving 300mm wafer-based production.

Status of the Inverter Industry

Motor drive still powers the inverter market, with EV/HEV positively impacting overall market dynamics.

Inverter leg embedded system by System Plus Consulting

Automotive Power Module Packaging Comparison

A cost-oriented review of power module packaging technologies for the automotive market.

Related presentation:

EV/HEV Automotive Power Modules Packaging: Technology & Cost – E. Barbarini, System Plus Consulting at APEC 2019


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