© begemot 30 dreamstime.com Components | July 23, 2020
The evolving GaN and SiC power semiconductor market landscape
The emerging market for silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors is rapidly evolving from a startup-dominated business to one led by large-established power semiconductor manufacturers.
The transition comes as the market reaches a critical size, with revenue forecast to pass $1 billion next year (2021), energized by demand from hybrid & electric vehicles, power supplies, and photovoltaic (PV) inverters, according to Omdia’s SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report – 2020. “The origins of the SiC and the GaN power semiconductor industry were all about enthusiastic little start-up companies, many of which have now been swallowed up by large, established silicon power semiconductor manufacturers,” said Richard Eden, senior principal analyst for power semiconductors at Omdia. During the period between 2016 and 2019, established player Littelfuse acquired SiC start-up Monolith Semiconductor, and then bought established company IXYS Semiconductor. ON Semiconductor merged with Fairchild, which had previously bought Swedish start-up TranSiC, to enter the SiC market. Later, Microchip Corporation acquired Microsemi, giving it a range of SiC products. Also, during this period, several new manufacturers entered the SiC market, such as ABB Semiconductors, CRRC Times Semiconductors, PanJit International, Toshiba and WeEn Semiconductor. Early players among the GaN market startups, such as EPC, GaN Systems, Transphorm and VisIC are still going, with some forming alliances with established silicon power semiconductor manufacturers, such as the linkages between Transphorm and Fujitsu, and GaN Systems and ROHM Semiconductor. One reason why few of the original startups have been acquired by the silicon power semiconductor manufacturers may be the emergence of the foundry service providers perfecting production of GaN-on-Si epiwafers and devices, establishing a viable fabless GaN manufacturer market. There have been fewer mergers and acquisitions (M&A) during the last 12 months. Two M&A developments have come in the SiC power semiconductor industry, both concerning SiC wafer suppliers: STMicroelectronics’ purchase of Norstel Sweden and SK Siltron’s purchase of DuPont's SiC Wafer business, formerly known as Dow Chemicals. It is also worth mentioning is that Global Power Technologies Group changed its name to SemiQ in late 2019. In the GaN power semiconductor industry, STMicroelectronics acquired a majority shareholding in Exagan earlier this year, with the intention of completing a full acquisition at some point in the future. The new entrants into the GaN power semiconductor industry included Power Integrations (which was already in production while in stealth mode), NexGen Power Systems, Odyssey Semiconductor and Tagore Technology. Infineon Technologies has been joined by Alpha & Omega Semiconductor as offering Si, SiC and GaN power semiconductors in mass production. ON Semiconductor is very close to joining this exclusive club, as its GaN product development approaches completion. Renesas Electronics, ROHM Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics and Toshiba Electronics are all thought to be joining this exclusive club too. The substrate wafer market The SiC substrate wafer supply market is expanding slowly, with many leading players announcing production capacity expansion plans, but wafer prices are not falling fast enough. However, there is not enough competition to the market leader. It is worth noting that Cree (Wolfspeed) has announced several long-term supply agreements with device producers such as Infineon Technologies, STMicroelectronics and ON Semiconductor as well as with automotive suppliers, like Delphi Technologies, Volkswagen Group and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. As well as its agreement with Cree (Wolfspeed), STMicroelectronics also revealed a long-term supply agreement with SiCrystal, which is owned by ROHM Semiconductor, as well as buying wafer supplier Norstel Sweden outright. Within the GaN substrate wafer supply market, the biggest surprise of 2019 was that Power Integrations was producing GaN system ICs on GaN-on-sapphire substrates while still in stealth mode. Power Integrations acquired Velox Semiconductor in 2010 and used its GaN-on-sapphire research and know-how to create its “PowiGaN” technology. The company has taken a different approach to competitors by co-packaging GaN switches with silicon driver and protection ICs in its third generation of integrated InnoSwitch devices. Bulk GaN (or freestanding GaN or GaN-on-GaN) wafers are small and very expensive, but prices are falling as new Chinese suppliers appear, including ETA Research, Sino Nitride and Nanowin. New developers of trench devices on freestanding GaN wafers, like NexGen Power Systems and Odyssey Semiconductor, have appeared, but it will take many years before devices become prevalent.
The UK’s biggest wafer fab wants to become even bigger Newport Wafer Fab, Infineon’s former manufacturing fab in South Wales, is looking to raise GBP 50 million to expand its production capacity amidst global semiconductor shortage.
TE Connectivity has sold Axicom to RCP TE Connectivity has divested its Axicom high voltage products business division to RCP Group, an independent investment firm based in Munich.
Sponsored content by Shenzen Kinwong ElectronicThe development trend of printed circuit board products and Kinwong's solution With the rapid development of electronic technology in recent years, printed circuit board (PCB) products are pursuing higher heat dissipation capabilities, with high voltage and high current characteristics, and are developing towards high-density interconnection technology (HDI).
John Ternus to take over as Apple's hardware engineering chief Apple's Dan Riccio will transition to a new role focusing on a new project and reporting to CEO Tim Cook. John Ternus will now lead Apple’s Hardware Engineering organization as a member of the executive team.
HC Solutions is now in the hands of S&T S&T AG has acquired 100% of the Linz-based company HC Solutions GmbH (HCS) through its wholly-owned subsidiary Kontron Technologies GmbH (KTEC).
Cadence to acquire NUMECA Cadence Design Systems has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NUMECA International, a company focused on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), mesh generation, multi-physics simulation and optimization.
Tech Etch installs Aqua Rose cleaner and tester Tech Etch, a US-based provider of custom flex and rigid-flex circuits, EMI/RFI shielding solutions, and precision etch & form, has purchased an Aqua ROSE Batch Cleaner/Ionic Contamination Tester.
GlobalWafers increases its offer for Siltronic GlobalWafers says it has increased its all-cash takeover offer of Siltronic, by its subsidiary GlobalWafers GmbH, to EUR 140 per Siltronic share.
NI and Konrad ink agreement to accelerate autonomous vehicle test NI and Konrad Technologies (KT) have entered into a strategic agreement to develop test systems and solutions for autonomous driving software and hardware validation.
Intel expands in Poland The US chipmaker is preparing to expand its operations in the Polish city of Gdańsk. The company will be constructing its sixth building at its campus in the city.
Murata completes new Okayama production building The Japanese company’s production subsidiary, Okayama Murata Manufacturing, initiated an expansion of its operations in Setouchi City with a new production building in December 2019. Now the building stands complete.
Osram signs supply and commercial agreement with LeddarTech ADAS and AD sensing specialist, LeddarTech, and automotive lighting and laser systems supplier Osram, have entered into a long-term agreement.
ITW to acquire MTS Test & Simulation business From Amphenol Illinois Tool Works Inc., a global multi-industrial manufacturing company, and the provider interconnect, antenna and sensor solutions, Amphenol Corporation, have entered into an agreement under which ITW will acquire MTS Systems Corporation’s Test & Simulation business, following the closing of Amphenol’s acquisition of MTS.
Tobey Gonnerman named Fusion Worldwide's new President The global sourcing distributor announces that Tobey Gonnerman has been appointed as the company’s new President.
Solving the Cable TV Infrastructure Downstream Transmitter Challenge Driven by demand for faster internet connectivity, the cable TV industry has developed new network architectures for the delivery of multigigabit services to subscribers. This fiber deep approach, using a remote PHY device (RPD), moves critical hardware closer to the users by using digital fiber.
Boyd expands its footprint with new facility in Mexico Thermal management and engineered material solutions specialist Boyd Corporation, has expanded its presence in North America with a newly built facility strategically located in Juarez, Mexico.
Farnell becomes a global distribution partner NI the distributor of electronic components, products and solutions has been appointed as an NI Authorized Distributor, expanding its product portfolio to include NI software-connected test and measurement solutions for customers of all sizes.
Foxconn and Winbond invest in chipmaker Kneron Foxconn and Winbond joins companies such as Qualcomm, Horizons, Sequoia and Weltrend as high profile investors in Kneron
EV Group sets up customer training facility at HQ EV Group (EVG) has established the EVG Academy, a training facility for customers that provides technical training on all classes of the company's equipment as well as on its CIM Framework software platform in an optimised environment.
Denso team up with Aeva to develop sensing and perception systems Mobility supplier Denso says that it is partnering with U.S. LiDAR and perception systems company, Aeva, to develop next-generation sensing and perception systems.
Fire hit Taiwanese MLCC manufacturer in China On January 13 a fire broke out at Taiwanese passive component maker Walsin Technology’s Dongguan, China site.
Thin Film Products joins SERMA Microelectronics SERMA Microelectronics, a subsidiary of the French electronics specialist SERMA Group, has finalised the purchase of TFP (Thin Film Products), a French manufacturer of thin-film microwave circuits for space, military and civil applications.
New Korean Zestron Technical Center opens for customers The provider of high precision cleaning products has expanded its operations by opening a new Technical Center, located in Anyang, Korea.
A2 Global Electronics names new executives Electronic component distribution and supply chain service provider, A2 Global Electronics, has appointed Anthony Andriano as its new Chief Financial Officer and promoted Jesper Romell as its new President.
ROHM expands production capacity of SiC power devices ROHM has recently held an opening ceremony announcing the completion of a new building at ROHM Apollo's Chikugo plant, which the company started building back in February 2019, to enhance the production capacity of SiC power devices.
Elmos acquires Online Engineering GmbH Elmos is strengthening its in-house competencies in software engineering via the acquisition of Dortmund based engineering service provider Online Engineering.Load more news