MANHASSET, NY -- Power electronics is moving beyond its historic dependence on silicon, with silicon carbide and gallium nitride taking a 22 percent market share for $3.3 billion in sales by 2020.
The quest for increased energy efficiency has re-energized power electronics to grow to account for $15 billion worth of sales of discrete components in four key industry segments in next eight years, according to a report by market analyst Lux Research. The four areas are buildings and industrial, electronics and IT, renewables and grid storage, and transportation.
“There’s clearly a growing opportunity in power electronics, but the challenge for both current market players and would-be entrants is finding the places where these emerging technologies meet customer needs at the right price points,” said Lux Research analyst Pallavi Madakasira, in a statement.
For the report, Lux Research analysts calculated the payback period for SiC and GaN devices and calculated market shares based on the required payback period for each application, as well as delaying or accelerating factors that reflect industry conservatism, design cycles, timing for capacity build-outs, and other industry drivers.
One of the report’s findings is that while SiC, with its better maturity and reliability, has a head start, GaN is catching up thanks to innovators such as Efficient Power Conversion and Transphorm and incumbents like International Rectifier.
SiC is gaining mostly in renewables, capturing a 32 percent market share in solar, and is poised to capitalize on the grid storage boom.
On the VC front, Lux Research reports that over the past five years investors have funneled over $200 million into developers of advanced materials and devices for power electronics. 2012 promises to be a record-setting one for transactions with particular attention on substrate and GaN technology developers.
The report is part of the new Lux Research Energy Electronics Intelligence service, which covers light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and power electronics.
If R&D in the use of SiC can solve the problem of utility storage for renewable energy, then the estimate of $3.3b will be but a tip of the iceberg
for the year 2012. CSP only needs to resolve the issue of utility storage to become a major global energy source.
The sustainability of energy from the sun points to that source as the eventual source of energy for earthlings. It will be interesting to see the resolution of the global energy problem with its attendant environmental issues by application of energy-saving SiC technology in power electronics. Kudos to global R&D efforts.
Rev. Ukaegbu Ogwo (Solartime Electric Ltd. Nigeria http://www.solartimeelectric.net)
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.