DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has added the report, SiC'10 - How SiC will Impact Electronics: A 10 Year Projection.
The industry is still waiting for a transistor, but PV inverters, motor drives and EV/HEV will push the market up. SiC challenges a $2.6 billion silicon device market
This $2.6 billion Total Accessible Market (TAM) is part of the overall $12 billion Si-based power discretes business (2008). Today, the largest applications in potential revenue remain power supply PFC, UPS and motor AC drives. Tomorrow, EV/HEV and inverters for PV installations will take the lead exhibiting higher CAGR (>15 percent/year).
However, cost issues slow-down SiC penetration and we only forecast ~4 percent of the overall Silicon-based power discretes market to be displaced by SiC in 2019.
Low-voltage applications (< 1.2kV) are representing over 99 percent of today SiC device sales, but we anticipate a huge increase of medium-voltage applications (1.2kV-1.7kV) in the next two years. High-voltage apps will slowly appear from 2013-2014 along with technology improvement and cost reduction.
The entrance of SiC in the promising EV/HEV field has been postponed to 2014 as no switch has reached large volume production yet and car makers are still improving silicon IGBT technology. Moreover, most of the current or new entrant EV/HEV manufacturers are working on both GaN and SiC for their next-gen inverters and no choice has been validated yet.
In the 600-1200 V range, promising GaN technologies might threaten SiC. However, SiC industry maturity should protect it from frontal competition at least for the two next years.
In 2008, the SiC device market reached $23 million. Year 2009 should exhibit something similar as the economic downturn has lead to a quasi null growth rate this year. 2014 will be the year of expected introduction of SiC in the automotive industry leading to a $100M market before 2015. In a decade from now, we anticipate a market size of several hundred million dollars, dominated by EV/HEV and PV inverter applications.
4" wafers in full-production and 6" is in starting blocks
The total SiC substrate merchant market, including both n-type and SI has reached ~$48 million in 2008. It is expected to exceed $300 million in a decade.
CREE stays ahead of the competition, but its relative market share on the open market is shrinking as II-VI, SiCrystal and several new entrants are gaining momentum in the substrate battle.
We saw the emergence of two new entrants in SiC substrates in 2008: N-Crystals (Russia) and Xiamen Powerway Advanced Material Co. Ltd (China) who are manufacturing and marketing 2" and 3" SiC substrates 4H and 6H in both SI or n-type doping.
Early 2009, another Chinese company, TankeBlue, announced impressive progress on scale-up production of 3" SiC wafers, exhibiting micropipe density < 10/cm². This let us think that Chinese companies are becoming more and more present on the market place proposing products with state-of-the-art specs and competitive pricing.
We assess that the technical gap between yesterday's leaders and today's challengers is decreasing day by day.
The 4" wafers are now at full-production at CREE and in final qualification phase at II-VI, Dow Corning and Nippon Steel. 6" is already announced by 2010. 150 mm wafers will definitely accelerate the cost reduction of SiC device manufacturing.
If no transistor, no bright future for SiC business
Transistor availability is the key condition to envision significant market growth. According to recent announcements from CREE, SemiSouth, TranSiC, Rohm or Mitsubishi, we remain confident that 2010 will see first commercial volume offers in MOSFET, J-FET or BJT.
Once this condition is met, the SiC device industry will have to cut the cost to fit with client expectations. Two parameters will have to be improved:
- SiC substrate $/mm² cost.
- SiC device manufacturing cost and yield, with a particular emphasis on epitaxy process.
The adoption of the SiC technology will also have to go through the severe qualification process of the industry (especially in the automotive sector). There, progress on reliability and robustness must fit the current silicon standards.
If all conditions are passed, then we can forecast a $800M market size for SiC devices in a decade from now.