Automotive sector to drive uptake of silicon-carbide

Market news |
By Peter Clarke

These figures imply that the market for silicon-carbide (SiC) power components was worth about $300 million in 2017 and will hit about $390 million in 2018 and go on to be worth $500 million in 2019.

Adoption in automotive is a key trend for SiC over the next few years, Yole asserts.

At present the market is mainly composed of diodes used in power factor correction and power supplies and photovoltaic applications. However, Yole expects that in five years from now the main SiC device market driver will be transistors, with that submarket achieving 50 percent CAGR for 2017-2023.

SiC transistors are penetrating applications including electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, PFC/power supply, PV, UPS, motor drives, wind and rail.

Such companies as Rohm, Bombardier, Cree, SDK, STMicroelectronics, Infineon Technologies, Littelfuse and Ascatron are developing products and forming partnerships with the potential for mergers and acquisitions.

The automotive sector provides numerous applications for SiC adoption including a main inverter, on-board charging for occupants’ electronic equipment and in dc/dc converters.

“By 2018, more than 20 automotive companies are already using SiC Schottky barrier diodes or SiC MOSFET transistors for on-board charging, which will lead to 44 percent CAGR through to 2023,” said Hong Lin, compound semiconductor analyst at Yole, in a statement.

STMicroelectronics is involved heavily in the development of SiC-based modules for the automotive industry and Yole expects SiC adoption in the main inverter by some pioneers.

The recent SiC module developed by STMicroelectronics for Tesla and its Model 3 is a good example of this early adoption and Chinese automotive companies are expected to be to the fore in the adoption of SiC.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

UnitedSiC: Practical considerations when comparing SiC and GaN in power applications

Infineon will hurry capacity expansion to cope with strong order book

Silicon-carbide resistance reduced by two thirds


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