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Power IC market sees 72% CAGR until 2015

Posted: 22 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power semiconductor? MOSFET? IGBT?

A recent research from The Information Network has revealed that the market for next-generation power semiconductors will grow in the coming years. The report titled "Next-Generation Power Semiconductors: Markets Materials, Technologies" has detailed that the forecasted market boost of the devices are due to their superior material properties.

Silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) wide bandgap power semiconductor devices can offer orders-of-magnitude better performance, according to the report. "The commercial battle for next-generation power semiconductors is evolving. As a result, many semiconductor manufacturers are attempting to enter the market," stated Robert Castellano, president of the research company. "Already it's a $50 million market, although small compared to the $14 billion silicon-based power semiconductor market."

Silicon-based insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and power metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) are seen as the main growth drivers. "We project 3.7 percent average annual growth of the power semiconductor market over the next three years, from $14.2 billion in 2011 (more than six percent YoY) to $16.7 billion in 2013," Castellano added. "We look for strongest growth from IGBTs, although power MOSFETs had the largest market share in 2010 due to its fast switching speed, near-perfect gate impedance, excellent stability and a relatively low on-state resistance."

But because of their attractive performance, wideband gap power semiconductor devices have been the subject of intense R&D. In development since the early 1990s, SiC material for power device applications has gone through the longest period and come furthest in terms of maturity and reliability. "We project the next-generation power semiconductor will exhibit a CAGR of 72 percent between 2010 and 2015, reaching values of more than $500 million," Castellano continued.

Benefiting from the growth of these wide bandgap devices will be processing equipment. Significant improvements in the technique of growing GaN material on silicon substrates have enabled high-quality, crack-free GaN epi layers grown on Si, overcoming the 17 percent crystal mismatch between the two materials crystal faces. For GaN epitaxy on Si or SiC, deposition system suppliers Veeco and Aixtron will benefit and grow strongly, utilizing their expertise in LED epitaxy, reckons The Information Network.

Silicon MOSFETs use wirebonding and traditional SO or TO packages. GaN-on-Si can be bonded using flip chip. Companies that should benefit include equipment suppliers to the flip-chip industry, such as NeXX Systems, concluded the market research firm.

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