Insight of GaN and SiC market

By Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio for EETIMES – Power electronics has taken an interesting road with the adoption of GaN and SiC. Yole Développement (Yole) estimated a general view of these wide bandgap materials. While silicon is still dominating the market, GaN and SiC devices are already more efficient solutions in some applications. From a development standpoint, SiC research  is focused on SiC wafer quality on larger diameters and power module development. In the GaN field, the main trends are on GaN device integration — either system-in-package or system-on-chip solutions.

Silicon carbide

Ezgi Dogmus, technology & market analyst at Yole, described the progress in wafer sizes used in processing SiC circuitry.“ We have seen a transition from four inches to six inches in the last couple of years. And now more and more device manufacturers are working on six inches. What we understand is that today the high quality six-inch wafers are still difficult to produce. This is still challenging in terms of substrate growth and also preparation, and this will directly affect the yield that you have in the next processes. So the idea for the device manufacturers is to start with good material from the beginning to the end, in order to really maximize their yield and also, of course, economize in terms of cost of their product,” Dogmus said.

She continued, “We have seen lots of investment from leading players such as Cree, II-VI and Sicrystal and also Chinese players. There has been a lot of involvement from many players in this area. Multiple-years supply agreements have been signed between substrate suppliers Cree/Wolfspeed and SiCrystal and device manufacturers such as Infineon and ST Microelectronics.”

ON Semi similarly entered a long term deal with a fab to demonstrate it can support high-volume markets. Most of these deals were signed between 2018 and 2019.

Figure 1: Power SiC long-term evolution (Source: Yole)

“We know that ST has a partnership with Tesla for the silicon carbide main inverter, so it really represents the highest volume in the silicon carbide market today. And we also see Infineon and ON semi in the race, so they’re also really targeting industrial and automotive applications,” said Dogmus.

“ON Semi is also developing its internal silicon carbide substrates. They have also had an agreement with GTAT for the silicon carbide crystal supplies. It is essential to have high quality for them and also vertically integrate them into the supply chain and have the overall control on their material,” Dogmus said… Full article