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The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market is expected to register a CAGR of 28% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025)

·6-min read

There has been an increasing focus on using renewable energy resources in almost all end-user industries. This is due to the reduction of carbon emissions, which helps in combating climate change caused by fossil fuel usage.

New York, June 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- announces the release of the report "Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductor Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)" -

- SiC (silicon carbide) is used for high-power applications due to wide bandgap offered. Semiconductors also use SiC for reduced energy loss and longer life solar and wind energy power converters. For instance, photovoltaic energy mainly requires high power, low-loss, faster switching, and reliable semiconductor devices to increase efficiency, power density, and reliability. SiC devices are providing a promising solution to photovoltaic energy requirements to meet the increasing demand for energy.
- Owing to this, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects AgencyEnergy (ARPA-E) announced USD 30 million funding for 21 innovative projects as part of the Creating Innovative and Reliable Circuits Using Inventive Topologies and Semiconductors (CIRCUITS) program.
- Moreover, the concern for low-carbon emissions has impacted the automotive industry as automobiles are a significant source of carbon emissions. Therefore, several laws and regulations have been enacted around the world by countries to monitor vehicular emissions. Many states have adopted previous versions of the European or United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) mobile source emission regulations. Some countries have adopted more advanced regulations based on the most recent version of the European or US regulations.
- Also, Electric vehicles provide certain advantages, such as range, charge-time, and performance, to meet the customer expectations, for which they require power electronic devices capable of efficient and effective operation at elevated temperatures. Hence, power modules are being developed using wide-bandgap SiC technologies. For instance, Tesla recently introduced the new Model S and Model X with silicon carbide power electronics in the drive unit, and BorgWarner introduced new on-board chargers. Volkswagen selected Cree for the Volkswagen Group FAST Program to secure silicon carbide supplies for upcoming EVs.
- The COVID -19 outbreak has affected the overall semiconductor market from the demand side and the supply side. The nationwide lockdown and closure of semiconductor plants have fueled the supply shortage trend further, which mainly emerged in 2019. These effects were also reflected in the SiC power semiconductor market. However, many of these effects are likely to be in the short term. Moreover, government precautions around the world to support automotive and semiconductor sectors could help revive industry growth. Advancements, such as investment by US DOE for NRELled research to reduce SiC power electronics manufacturing costs, could further support such trends and expand the scope of more robust SiC-based devices.

Key Market Trends
Automotive Industry is Expected to Register Significant Growth

- The increasing adoption of SiC power semiconductor plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric vehicles (xEV) is one of the major factors driving the growth in the studied segment. Presently, most of the power electronics in the vehicles are silicon-based. However, the latest EV designs require advances in efficiency and power density, owing to which SiC is emerging as preferred material to overcome the performance plateau of silicon. Features, such as low switching losses, high switching frequency, and high-temperature capability, are making SiC ideal for EV requirements.
- Most automotive manufacturers are utilizing SiC power components for applications, such as onboard chargers (OBCs) and inverters for PHEV and fully EVs. The small size, lightweight, and high energy efficiency achievable is likely to drive automotive electrification by reducing charging times and extending the range of EVs. The SiC provides over 2% more efficiency in the power device. The SiC-based power device is lighter in weight by 6 kg and ensures 30% more vehicle mileage. Presently, most of the charging units, inverters, DC-DC converters, and electric vehicles, especially in emerging countries, use the silicon chip as it is cheaper than SiCs. However, most market vendors are witnessing replacement demand from OEMs and tier I and tier II suppliers in the automotive sector.
- Market vendors, like Infineon Technologies and NXP, are betting high on SiC power semiconductors for the automotive market. Recently in 2020, Infineon also showcased its EasyPACK module with CoolSiC automotive MOSFET technology, a 1200 V half-bridge module with an eight m?/150 A current rating. Additionally, despite declining automotive sales around the world, the increase in the number of power semiconductors per vehicle factor has attracted many semiconductor manufacturers into automotive targeted SiC power devices market.

Asia-Pacific Will Grow Significantly Over the Forecast Period

- Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the global SiC power semiconductor market mainly as the region dominates the global semiconductor market, which is further supported by government policies favoring semiconductor growth. The region is also the largest producer and consumer of consumer electronics, and the demand for smart consumer electronic products is exponentially growing here
- Also, the region is one of the significant automotive and EV markets around the world. China is the largest maker of electric vehicles. As of 2018, electric vehicles accounted for approximately 4% of the overall Chinese vehicle market. Approximately 45% of electric cars deployed worldwide were in China, compared to 39% in 2017. With the increasing production of electric vehicles and their infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, coupled with favorable industrial regulations in countries like China, India, and South Korea. This is also expected to drive the production of SiC power semiconductors in the region
- Both power and automotive are major end-user industries for SiC power semiconductors. Hence, the growing advancement in the region is also fueling the innovation, further helping in the development of the regional SiC power semiconductor market. For instance, in 2018, Hriman Motors launched e-cars with an infinite battery in China. Also, SUSI Partners AG, a Swiss-based investment company focused on renewable energy, announced the SUSI Asia Energy Transition Fund, a USD 250 million infrastructure fund for the region.

Competitive Landscape
The major players include Infineon Technologies AG, Texas Instruments Inc., ST Microelectronics NV, Hitachi Power Semiconductor Device Ltd, NXP semiconductor, Fuji Electric Co. Ltd, Semikron International GmbH, Cree Inc., ON Semiconductor Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and others. As several vendors are offering semiconductors and are engaged in advancing them, the competition in the market is high.

- February 2020 -- Infineon Technologies AG expanded its comprehensive silicon carbide (SiC) product portfolio with 650 V devices. With the newly launched CoolSiC MOSFETs, Infineon addresses the growing demand for energy efficiency, power density, and robustness in a wide range of applications. Among them are server, telecom, and industrial SMPS, solar energy systems, energy storage, and battery formation, UPS, motor drives, and EV-charging.
- January 2020 -- STMicroelectronics NV announced that it has signed a multi-year silicon carbide (SiC) wafers supply agreement with SiCrystal, a ROHM Group company. Under the agreement, SiCrystal is set to supply over 120 million dollars of silicon carbide wafers to STMicroelectronics. The company aims to leverage the demand ramp-up for silicon carbide power devices across various industries, including industries and automotive markets.

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