Due to falling prices and the commercial availability of wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor power devices from multiple sources, the adoption of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power devices in power supplies for computers, telecom equipment, photovoltaic inverters, electric vehicles, military devices and many other applications is on the rise. The global market for SiC and GaN power semiconductors is hence rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 33% from $210m in 2015 to about $1.265bn in 2020 then $3.7bn in 2025, forecasts IEEE analyst Richard Eden in the latest SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report.
Graphic: The adoption of SiC and GaN power devices is being driven by declining prices and multiple sources of wide-bandgap-based power devices. (Image Credit: IEEE)
While SiC-based Schottky diodes have been available for over ten years, SiC-based MOSFETs, junction-gate FETs (JFETs) and bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) have emerged commercially in the last few years, including 900V SiC MOSFETs with a price comparable to silicon. Also, the number of suppliers of discrete SiC power devices has increased in the last few years, pushing more power supply designers toward SiC power devices. Consequently, IEEE is expecting SiC MOSFETs alone to generate revenue of $300m by 2025, becoming the second-best-selling discrete power device type in the next 5-10 years.
Meanwhile GaN-on-silicon power transistors are ramping up in production and GaN power modules are beginning to emerge. As a result, it is expected that, by 2020, GaN-on-Si power devices will achieve price parity with silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs. However, the IEEE report suggests the first GaN Schottky diodes are not expected to be commercially available before 2020. Accordingly, the GaN power market should surpass $600m by 2025. In the same timeframe, the SiC power market will generate over $3bn in revenue, the report concludes.