Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market is forecast to reach $2.6 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR 27.1% from 2021 to 2026. Silicon carbide is a semiconductor formed by a combination of silicon and carbon. It has a hardness level that is roughly equal to that of a diamond, which allows SiC semiconductors to work under intense conditions. SiC (silicon carbide) is used for high-powered applications due to the wide bandgap semiconductor provided. Semiconductors also use SiC for reduced energy losses and longer life solar and wind power converters. Photovoltaic energy mainly requires high power, low-loss, faster switching and reliable semiconductor devices to improve performance, power density and reliability. SiC devices such as Insulated gate bipolar transistors(IGBTs), MOSFETs provide a promising solution to photovoltaic energy requirements through chemical vapor deposition in order to meet the rising demand for energy. Growing number of modern applications requiring SiC power supply provides lucrative business opportunities. In the automotive industry, traction inverters in electric vehicles are subjected to high thermal and load cycles. SiC has improved reliability and performance, ability to work at higher temperatures, reduced size and higher voltage capabilities, making it suitable for use in the electrical vehicle industry.
Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market Segment Analysis – By Wafer Size
The 4 inch segment is expected to grow at a higher CAGR 46.5% during the forecast period. 4-inch silicon wafers are commonly used in the research field due to their improved reactivity compared to standard nano/micron-sized particles. They are expected to grow with good rate during the forecast period. Growth is due to the growing use of 4-inch silicon carbide wafers in a range of products, such as optoelectronics, high-power devices, high-temperature devices and high-frequency power devices. IGBTs, MOSFETs and other semiconductor components utilize wide bandgap SiC material which is set to drive the market.
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Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market Segment Analysis – By End-User
The Automotive industry is expected to grow at a higher CAGR 30.2% during the forecast period. The increasing adoption of the SiC power semiconductor in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric vehicles (xEV) is one of the key factors driving the growth of the segment. Currently, most of the power electronics in vehicles are based on silicon. However, the latest EV designs require improvements in efficiency and power density, with SiC emerging as the preferred material to resolve the performance of the silicon plateau. Features such as low switching losses, high switching frequency and high temperature capability make SiC suitable for EV requirements. Market vendors, such as Infineon Technologies and NXP, are betting big on SiC power semiconductors for the automotive market. Recently in 2020, Infineon introduced its EasyPACK module with CoolSiC automotive MOSFET technology, a 1200 V half-bridge module with a current rating of 8 m ? /150 A. In addition, amid declining automotive sales worldwide, the rise in the number of power semiconductors per vehicle factor has attracted a number of semiconductor manufacturers to the automotive sector of SiC power products.
Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
APAC is expected to dominate the global Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors market with a share of more than 34.5% in the forecast period. Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the global SiC semiconductor market mainly as the region dominates the global semiconductor market, further supported by government policies that favor semiconductor development. The area is also the largest producer and consumer of consumer electronics, and there is an exponential growth in demand for smart consumer electronics. The growing need for wide bandgap IGBT semiconductors will drive the market. The region is also one of the world’s leading automotive and EV markets. China is the main producer of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles accounted for roughly 4 per cent of the total Chinese vehicle industry as of 2018. Approximately 45% of electric cars deployed worldwide were in China, compared with 39% in 2017. The growing production and infrastructure of electric vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region coupled with favorable industrial regulations in countries such as China, India and South Korea is also expected to drive the production of SiC power semiconductors in the region.
Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market Drivers
Advantages of Compound Semiconductors (SiC) Over Silicon-based Technology
Electronic properties of silicon carbide semiconductors are superior to those of silicon. They have a higher saturated electron velocity and mobility of electrons. SiC power semiconductors are relatively less affected by overheating due to their wider range of energy. They also appear to produce less noise in electronic circuits than silicone systems, resulting in a reduced loss of power. These enhanced properties promote the increased use of compound semiconductors, such as SiC power products in satellite communications, cell phones, microwave connections and high-frequency radar systems. Thus, this dominance of silicon carbide semiconductors over silicon drives market growth.
Increase in demand for power electronics modules across various industry verticals
Power electronics is a branch of electronics which deals with the control and conversion of electrical power. The characteristics of silicone carbide semiconductors, such as higher electrical field strength breakdown and wider band gap, allow their use in power electronics. These devices play an extremely important role in the regulation of automotive electronics such as electrical power steering, key inverter for hydroelectric vehicles, seat control, braking system and others. SiC control electronics also facilitates the conversion of energy to aircraft-integrated generators and actuators. In addition to automobile and aircraft, the growth of power electronics is driven by its growing use in a variety of applications, such as industrial motors, electrical grid stabilization and consumer electronics. Consequently, its efficient power control and management role for industrial operations or the operation of electrical/electronic devices makes it ideal for different vertical industries.
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Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market Challenges
High Wafer Cost of Silicon Carbide Semiconductors
The high wafer cost is a major obstacle to the development of SiC-based power devices. The price of the SiC semiconductors is higher than the silicon semiconductors they are expected to replace. High-purity SiC powder and high-purity silane (SiH4) are the essential precursors for the processing of SiC layers in chips, IGBTs and MOSFETs. High purity SiC powder is currently available from a limited number of suppliers and is relatively costly. The smaller suppliers of these raw materials needed for the production of wide bandgap silicon carbide wafers have resulted in higher costs. In addition, SiC wafers and substrates are supplied by major firms, such as Cree, Inc. and Dow Corning, which are primarily involved in the manufacture of semiconductor products. As a result, the increased bargaining power of silicon carbide wafer suppliers hinders the large-scale adoption of silicon carbide wafers.
Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market. Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductors Market is expected to be dominated by major companies such as Infineon Technologies AG, Microsemi Corporation, General Electric, Power Integrations, Toshiba Corporation, Fairchild Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, NXP Semiconductors, Tokyo Electron Limited, Renesas Electronics Corporation, ROHM, Cree, Inc, Others.
In Feb 2020, Infineon Technologies AG extended its extensive product range of Silicon Carbide (SiC) with 650 V products. With the newly launched CoolSiC MOSFETs, Infineon is addressing the increasing 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.
In January 2020, STMicroelectronics NV announced the signing of a multi-year supply agreement for silicon carbide (SiC) wafers with SiCrystal, a company of the ROHM Group. Under the deal, SiCrystal is 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 industrial and automotive markets.
The growing adoption of the SiC power semiconductor in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric vehicles (xEV) is one of the main factors driving the growth in the automotive industry.
Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the global SiC semiconductor market primarily as the region dominates the global semiconductor market, further supported by government policies that favor semiconductor production.
The outbreak of COVID-19 impacted the overall semiconductor industry on the demand side and the supply side. The nationwide shutdowns and closure of semiconductor plants further fuelled the supply shortage trend, which mainly emerged in 2019. These effects were also reflected in the demand for SiC power semiconductors.
A. Power Electronics Market
B. Silicon Carbide (SiC) Semiconductor Materials and Devices Market
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