The global Power SiC Market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 41.8% during the forecast period 2021-2026 and cross the $2 billion mark by 2025 reaching $2.78 billion in 2026, from around $541 million in 2020. Although the market shall witness a slight downturn of around -10.4% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19, the market shall bounce back in 2021 on the back of strong consumer demand in automotive (specially EV’s), Energy and power end user segments driving growth. The high demand for electric vehicles and investments in charging infrastructure etc has actually cushioned the market demand drop for the overall market. The automotive industry having committed more than $300 billion for the development of the Electric vehicles ecosystem is the single largest driver for the power SiC market globally.
Power SIC Market Segment Analysis – By Wafer Size
The demand for 2 inch power SIC wafer is increasing rapidly owing to the need of improved energy- efficiency power devices, LED lighting, and telecommunications will boost the global silicon carbide market in upcoming years from $154.7m in 2020. In addition, this 2 inch silicon carbide wafer characteristics in electrical devices such as polishing materials include a petroleum base to help the long-lasting lubricant break down into small pieces with sharp edges will play a major in growth of Power SIC market. Moreover, government initiatives for renewables power light and awareness among people for more using of LED lights and solar lights and electrification in rural areas will increase Silicon Carbide wafer market in the forecast period. Further, 2 inch power SIC wafer applications in automotive allow for reduction of conduction losses and switching losses. Hence these growing applications of 2 inch SIC in automotive, renewable and LED lighting is analysed to drive the market growth in the forecast period 2021-2026
Power SIC Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The automotive segment emerged as the strongest demand application in 2020 with a market share of 24%, and it is expected that this momentum shall continue to 2026, growing at a healthy CAGR of 53.8% to reach $1.2 billion in revenue and also increase its revenue share to 43%. Power SIC Market Size is forecast to reach $18.4 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 8.5% during 2021-2026. Power SIC solutions are being deployed in a wide range of applications including electric motors, consumer electronics, motor drives, energy and power, medical among others. Key factors fuelling the growth of power SIC market are growing demand for power electronics and surge in adoption of SIC-based photovoltaic cells in developing countries. Motor drives were the 2nd largest segment with 11% revenue share in 2020. Silicon carbide enables the creation of near perfect high-voltage diodes whose speed and power-handling capabilities open new applications in variable-frequency motor drives. This will lead to higher density power modules that operate at higher junction temperatures. SiC components are of great interest to improve system efficiency and in applications where a high output frequency is needed as the dead time can be shorter than for Si components.
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Power SIC Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
North America dominated the power SiC market with a value share of approximately 44% in 2020, owning to growing investments in the automotive and medical industry in the US and Canada markets. Europe stood 2nd in revenue share with 27% and then followed by Asia Pacific region with 21% share. With rising importance of power SiC modules in the EV market, and with countries globally investing billions of dollars, the demand for power SiC will continue to increase. In the APAC market, with higher growth rates projected for automotive compared to other regions, it is expected to hit a revenue share of 25% in 2026.
Power SIC Market Drivers
Emergence of 5G
The immense dependency on digital technology has been driving high-speed internet research & growth. 5G, that is, the 5th generation mobile wireless standard, is planned to be implemented in various developed and developing countries such as the U.S., China, and India until 2020. This wireless standard is expected to offer explosive data transfer speed up to 10 Gbps. This infrastructure is expected to support the rising penetration of internet of things and smart devices, which require high data transfer speed for efficient performance. The requirement for power semiconductors, especially the radio frequency (RF) type, is created by mobile communications. Because of the proliferation of multiple 5G base stations, many power amplifiers are expected to be mounted at each base station. Among the few compound semiconductors currently known to be used in the production of power semiconductors for fifth-generation communication are silicon carbide (SiC), gallium arsenide (GaA), and gallium nitride (GaN). Consequently, this will provide lucrative opportunities for the power Sic market during the forecast period 2021 – 2026.
Advantages of Compound SIC over Silicon Based Technology
The electronic properties of silicon carbide power semiconductors are superior to those of silicon. They have greater saturated electron velocity and mobility of electrons. SiC power semiconductors, due to their wider energy bandgap, are comparatively less affected by overheating. They also tend to create lesser noise in electronic circuits than silicon devices, thus resulting in minimized power loss. These enhanced properties stimulate increased usage of compound semiconductors, such as SiC power devices, in satellite communications, mobile phones, microwave links, and high-frequency radar systems. Thus, this superiority of silicon carbide power semiconductors over silicon drives the market growth.
PowerSIC Market Challenges
High Wafer Cost
High wafer costs are one of the significant obstacles to the production of SiC-based power devices. SiC semiconductors are priced higher than the silicon semiconductors they are aiming to replace. The critical precursors for generating SiC layers in the chips are high-purity SiC powder and high-purity silane (SiH4). High-purity SiC powder is currently available from a limited number of suppliers and is relatively expensive. Bridgestone (United States), Washington Mills (United States), LGInnotek (Korea), and Pallidus (United States) are the few companies involved in manufacture of high-purity SiC materials, while high-purity silane is produced by a few large multinational industrial gas companies. The fewer suppliers of these raw materials required in the manufacturing of silicon carbide wafers have resulted in their higher cost. In addition, major companies, such as Cree, Inc. and Dow Corning that are majorly involved in the production of semiconductor devices, provide SiC wafers and substrates. This has resulted in the consolidation of the market. Hence, higher bargaining power of silicon carbide wafer suppliers hampers large-scale adoption of silicon carbide wafers.
Power SIC Market Landscape
In the SiC JFET the key players operating are USCi and Infineon while Fuji Electric, ROHM, GE, ST Microelectronics etc are the top players in the SiC MOSFET market segment in 2020. Companies such as Cree, II-VI and Sicrystal and other Chinese players are investing heavily in the Power SiC market. Multi-year supply agreements have also been signed between substrate suppliers such as Cree/Wolfspeed and SiCrystal and device manufacturers such as Infineon and ST Microelectronics.
In September, 2019 Delphi Technologies PLC, a global provider of automotive propulsion technologies, and Cree, Inc. , a leader in silicon carbide semiconductors, announce a partnership to utilize silicon carbide semiconductor device technology to enable faster, smaller, lighter and more powerful electronic systems for future electric vehicles (EV).
In March, 2019, Littelfuse, Inc. introduced two additions to its expanding line of second-generation, 650V, AEC-Q101-qualified silicon carbide (SiC) Schottky Diodes. Both series offer power electronics system designers a variety of performance advantages over traditional silicon-based devices including negligible reverse recovery current, high surge capability.
The wafer shortage since past few years, in context of the increasing demand from end user segments has pushed key companies to invest more in production capacities globally. Cree/Wolfspeed currently has close to 65% share in SiC Wafer production while other players cumulatively hold 35% share in 2020.
The market is highly consolidated with a few players occupying the major share in the market. The power of suppliers is high. The factors that attribute this analysis are supplier’s presence, financial muscle, product limitation capabilities, switching costs and product reliability.
There is intense rivalry among the existing players in order to withhold the present market share thereby reducing incentive for new entrants
SIC Diodes find their applications in solar inverters, motor drives, uninterruptible power supplies and circuits in electric vehicles.
A. Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market
B. Digital Power Electronics Market
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