26 October 2021
GaN to surpass 50% penetration in fast-charge market in 2025
Apple recently unveiled its 140W MagSafe charger for the new MacBook Pro, marking the first time that Apple has adopted gallium nitride (GaN) technology. As such, 100+ Watt fast charge products have thus entered a period of growth, in turn accelerating the adoption of ‘third-generation’ (wide-bandgap) semiconductor devices in consumer applications, according to market research firm TrendForce. While GaN power transistor prices have dropped to nearly $1 now, and GaN fast charge technologies continue to mature, TrendForce expects GaN solutions to reach a 52% penetration rate in the fast charge market in 2025.
TrendForce also says that in 2020, GaN fast chargers with 55W-65W of peak power accounted for 72% of all GaN fast charger sales (with 65W being the mainstream), whereas those with peak power of 100W or more accounted for only 8%. Even so, the outlook for these high-power fast chargers appears relatively promising, as more and more companies release their own high-power fast chargers in response to consumers’ increasing energy consumption demand. Fast chargers with a peak power of 140W are the most powerful solution currently available.
Within the 100+Watt product category, GaN fast chargers have reached a penetration rate of 62%. These chargers are primarily supplied by Navitas and Innoscience. With a market share of more than 70%, Navitas’ GaN chips are used in products from Baseus, Lenovo and Sharge, among others. On the other hand, PFC+LLC combo controllers have become the mainstream solution for 100+Watt fast chargers, as these controllers allow for higher efficiency and smaller physical dimensions. The combination of silicon carbide (SiC) diodes and GaN switches results in increased PFC (power factor correction) frequency. As such, major manufacturers have quickly adopted the GaN+SiC wide-bandgap semiconductor combo for their fast chargers.
For example, Baseus released the world’s first 120W GaN (supplied by Navitas) + SiC (supplied by APS) fast charger in 2020 and saw excellent reception from the market. SiC power device suppliers, including Global Power Technology, Maplesemi and onsemi, have also been ramping up their shipments to PD (power delivery) fast-charger manufacturers. Notably, the fast charge interface has gradually become a standard feature in cars. In light of the rise of the high-power in-car charging market, the power consumption and maximum battery capacity of electronic products will propel the widespread application of third-generation semiconductors, including GaN and SiC, going forward, concludes TrendForce.