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Power Electronics (PE) refers to devices that convert electrical energy from one form to another, such as DC to AC inverters, or from one voltage to another. Power electronics is used in various industries such as automotive, electricity generation and distribution, ICT, consumer electronics, aviation/aerospace and defence; consumer electronics and power distribution infrastructure are key growth segments. The global power electronics market is expected to reach USD $39.22 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, Inc.
Technological advancements offering greater power efficiency and increasing applications for power electronics are driving widespread PE market growth. On-going digitilisation programmes enabling greater PE adoption, paired with growth in renewable energy (power inverters/grid connectivity, etc.) are additional growth drivers. The increasing demand for higher density power devices in consumer and commercial electronics are also positively impacting growth.
The applications of power electronic devices are expanding across various sectors, especially in the automobile industry. The evolution of electric vehicles (EVs), higher EV adoption levels to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and their use in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are important factors increasing PE demand by automotive manufacturers. In addition, the increase in infotainment and ADAS applications within automobiles creates greater demand for sophisticated on-board energy and control systems. Power electronics continues to play key roles in defence and aviation sectors in addition to healthcare, datacom and telecom applications.
Today, global PE manufacturers expect real breakthroughs and growth opportunities to come from the continuing development and evolution of wide bandgap (WBG) technologies including Silicon Carbide (SiC), Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Gallium Arsenide (GaAs), with most PE expansion utilizing GaN and SiC technologies. GaN is expected to be the major WBG semiconductor for the replacement of silicon-based applications less than 600 volts, while SiC-based devices are already seeing widespread applications at higher voltages. GaN products are expected to gradually replace incumbent silicon technologies within radio frequency (RF) and power supply applications. At the same time, IC manufacturers focused on new silicon PE solutions continue to improve their offerings. While some challenges remain in bringing the high efficiency/smaller size promise of GaN and SiC solutions to market with high reliability at competitive costs, the hurdles that held back GaN and SiC are rapidly falling by the wayside.
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