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GaN And SiC Power Semis Worth $3 Billion By 2025

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Efficiency is driving the adoption of SiC and GaN technologies

The GaN and SiC power semiconductor market is set to exceed $3 billion by 2025, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, growing at over 30 percent CAGR between 2019 and 2025.

As conventional silicon-based devices are approaching their material limits, SiC and GaN are becoming more popular and are being adopted across various industries in applications such as PV inverters, hybrid and electric vehicles, UPS and other power applications.

Efficiency is driving the adoption of SiC and GaN technologies as is the demand for higher power densities and devices with less weight and lower-cost. The exponential growth of GaN is expected to drive GaN and SiC power semiconductor market growth.

The US has the largest global share of the semiconductor market with over $200 billion in 2018, which is almost half of the global sales according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Moreover, the US semiconductor industry spends one-fifth of its revenue for R&D activities, making it an important region for the market.

GaN and SiC power semiconductor market is expected to gain traction in renewable energy applications. PV inverters, which play a crucial role in converting sunlight into electricity, are expected to adopt these devices to have more efficient power conversion.

SiC embedded PV inverters incur much lower switching losses and increase the system efficiency. Use of SiC devices for the PV inverter applications improves the power density be minimising the heat dissipation and can also reduce the size of passive components.

PV inverter applications for solar energy will drive GaN and SiC power semiconductor market in countries such as India and China.

Efforts by several governments to increase the use of renewable energy are opening new market opportunities for power devices. Countries like India are aggressively focusing on increasing the capacity of solar energy production.

According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India, the country is aiming to have 175 GW solar energy in 2022. Moreover, the country witnessed addition of 5.5GW energy based on wind capacity in year 2016-17. This is expected to provide high potential for Market.

The rise in the application of IGBT modules has become a prominent driver of the market. They are being widely used in applications such as railway traction and propulsion. Metros, electric and diesel-electric locomotives, tramways, and high-speed trains are increasingly adopting IGBT modules. The capabilities of SiC to provide higher efficiency and lower losses are enabling its use in the modules. Automation companies, such as ABB, provide IGBT modules for railway applications.

The comparatively higher costs of the devices can be a restraining factor for GaN and SiC. The conventional silicon materials for building power devices have been used in the semiconductor industry for many years and the market is not mature for an immediate switch to materials such as GaN. The benefits of the materials and their capabilities are expected to fuel the growth of the market.

Many companies are becoming inclined toward building more compact and highly efficient power semiconductor devices. The industry is witnessing rapid technological advancements with companies focusing on research and development activities. For instance, Infineon spent 11 percent of its revenue in R&D activities in 2018. The company is also expanding its production capacity of power semiconductors. In May 2018, the company entered into high volume production of its SiC MOSFETs.

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