April 5, 2012 -- Power electronics will grow to $15 billion in sales of discrete components in 2020, says Lux Research Inc. New materials -- silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) -- are taking a 22% market share for $3.3 billion in sales. Expect this year to set a record for funding to power electronics companies.
These emerging technologies must be commercialized to meet specific customer needs at favorable price points, by both current market players and would-be entrants, said Pallavi Madakasira, Lux research analyst and lead report author on “Beyond Silicon: Plotting GaN and SiC’s Path within the $15 Billion Power Electronics Market.”
Consumer electronics is an immediate growth opportunity for power electronics. Fast-growing applications in renewable energy and industrial power are “likely to challenge” power device makers to come up with better form factors, at lower cost and higher efficiency, she added.
With silicon-based power electronic devices reaching theoretical limits, other semiconductors, notably SiC and GaN, promise better performance and energy savings. SiC, a more mature technology with proven reliability, will gain a 14% market share. SiC will see the highest adoption in renewables, capitalizing on adoption in solar (32% market share) and grid-storage applications. GaN will grab an 8% share, led by companies like Efficient Power Conversion and Transphorm and International Rectifier. GaN will take a 14% share in IT and electronics sectors in 2010. In transportation, both new materials will see 15-16% adoption.
Over the past five years, investors have funneled over $200 million into advanced materials and device makers for power electronics. On the venture side, Transphorm, EpiGaN, GaN Systems and Azzurro have closed notable rounds, while corporate investments and acquisitions such as TranSiC (Fairchild), SiCed (Infineon), SiCrystal (Rohm) and Crysband (SKC) have continued apace. This year promises to be a record-setting one for transactions with particular attention on substrate and GaN technology developers.
The report, titled “Beyond Silicon: Plotting GaN and SiC’s Path within the $15 Billion Power Electronics Market,” is part of the new Lux Research Energy Electronics Intelligence service, which covers light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and power electronics. To forecast adoption of emerging power electronics technologies, Lux Research analysts calculated the payback period for SiC and GaN devices and calculated market shares based on the required payback period for each application, as well as delaying or accelerating factors that reflect industry conservatism, design cycles, timing for capacity build-outs, and other industry drivers. Access it here: https://portal.luxresearchinc.com/reporting/research/report_excerpt/10212.