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2 October 2014

Wide-bandgap power semiconductor market to grow at 63% CAGR to $500m in 2017

The next-generation power semiconductor market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63% between 2011 and 2017 to more than $500m, forecasts market research firm The Information Network in its report 'Next-Generation Power Semiconductors: Markets Materials, Technologies'.

“Traditional silicon-based power semiconductors are reaching their theoretical limitations,” notes the report. “Fortunately because of their superior material properties, wide-bandgap power semiconductor devices such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) can offer performances orders-of-magnitude better than silicon devices. As a result, they are widely expected to be the next-generation power devices,” he adds. 

“The commercial battle for next-generation power semiconductors is evolving,” continues the report. “As a result, many semiconductor manufacturers are attempting to enter the market.” Although small compared to the $14bn silicon-based power semiconductor market, the next-generation power semiconductor market is already $150m.

“We see insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) and power metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) as the main growth drivers,” the report says. “We look for strongest growth from IGBTs, although power MOSFETs had the largest market share in 2013 due to its fast switching speed, near-perfect gate impedance, fast switching speed, excellent stability, and a relatively low on-state resistance.”

Because of their attractive performance, R&D on wide-bandgap power semiconductor devices has been intense. In development since the early 1990s, SiC material for power device applications has gone through the longest period and come furthest in terms of maturity and reliability.

Benefiting from the growth of wide-bandgap devices will be processing equipment, reckons the report. Significant improvements in the technique of growing GaN material on silicon substrates have enabled high-quality, crack-free GaN epitaxial layers to be grown on silicon, overcoming the 17% crystal mismatch between the two materials’ crystal lattices. For GaN epitaxy on Si or SiC, Veeco and Aixtron will benefit and grow strongly, utilizing their expertise in LED epitaxy, forecasts the market research firm.

Also, whereas silicon MOSFETs use wire bonding and traditional SO or TO packages, GaN-on-Si can be bonded using flip-chip technology. Companies benefiting would be equipment suppliers to the flip-chip industry, such as TEL NeXX Inc, concludes the report.

Tags: Power electronics GaN SiC

Visit: www.theinformationnet.com

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