CLICK HERE: free registration for Semiconductor Today and Semiconductor Today ASIACLICK HERE: free registration for Semiconductor Today and Semiconductor Today ASIA

Join our LinkedIn group!

Follow ST on Twitter


10 February 2015

Strategy a key differentiator as more efficient GaN & SiC power electronics enter market

Power electronics based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) have the potential to significantly improve efficiency. However, since these materials are higher cost, companies need market-specific strategies in order to succeed as these new wide-bandgap (WBG) materials claim market share from silicon-based semiconductors, says Lux Research in its report 'Strategic Playbook for Power Electronics: Lessons from the IC Sector Evolution' (part of the Lux Research Energy Electronics Intelligence service).

Car makers would succeed by playing the role of an 'integrator' by vertically integrating upstream in the value chain to power modules, while a GaN or SiC developer would do well to pursue a strategy as 'technology disruptor' offering core technology expertise to solar inverter makers and incumbent system integrators like ABB, reckons Lux Research.

"Fast-growing markets like automotive and solar inverters are unforgiving when it comes to players without strong business and strategy," notes analyst Pallavi Madakasira (lead author of the report). "Start-ups trying to address these opportunities need to forge partnerships and collaborations – companies like Transphorm and GaN Systems that have done so are best-positioned for success," she adds.

Lux Research analysts evaluated the value chain in GaN and SiC power electronics to identify strategies for the automotive and solar inverter market. Their findings include the following:  

  • Integrators face low risk. Car makers could integrate upstream through acquisition to include power modules and inverter/converter manufacturing. Such acquisitions will allow car makers to own drive-train design and to lower overall costs. 
  • Differentiation is critical. A vertically integrated GaN/SiC device or module player is well positioned in the solar value chain. The core technology differentiation that such a company offers will be critical for incumbent solar inverter makers like SMA and Fronius, and something that system integrators like ABB do not have the competencies for.
  • Other players need to be nimble. Suppliers of substrates, packaging materials and thermal materials will need to customize. Staying nimble and planning for an increased number of specialized device makers in the power electronics value chain will be critical to their overall success.

Tags: GaN SiC Power electronics inverters

Visit: https://portal.luxresearchinc.com/research/report_excerpt/18580

See Latest IssueRSS Feed