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Innovations Will Sustain Silicon’s $20 Billion Share of the Power Electronics Market

Lux Research

While materials like SiC and GaN are making gains, silicon will maintain an 87% market share in 2024 through advances in circuits, controls, and packaging, says Lux Research

BOSTON, MA – June 2, 2015 – Driven by technology innovations, silicon-based power electronics will continue their domination of the fastest-growing and largest markets. These advances will allow silicon to maintain an 87% market share, worth $20 billion, and will relegate wide-bandgap (WBG) materials to a smaller market share, according to Lux Research.

Innovations in circuit design, control methods and module packaging will help silicon hold off adoption of WBG materials in many applications, particularly in the near-term on account of silicon's high availability and volumes.

“Circuit design innovation will have its biggest impact on space and efficiency improvements in IT and consumer electronics, while control method innovation impacts size reduction across all applications,” said Tiffany Huang, Lux Research Associate and lead author of the report titled, “Sorting Through the Maze of Silicon Innovations in Power Electronics.”

“Innovations in module packing can not only reduce size, but increase the efficiency to be on par with current WBG innovations in transportation markets,” she added.

Lux Research analysts reviewed ongoing innovations in silicon technology and ranked the leading companies on the Lux Innovation Grid on the basis of their technical and business execution scores. Among their findings:

  • TI, Maxim, Qualcomm dominate circuit design. On the strength of their partnerships and customers in multiple market segments, Texas Instruments, Maxim, Power Integrations and Qualcomm were the “Dominant” circuit design companies on the Lux Innovation Grid. Among start-ups, Ineda, Arctic Sand, Ambiq Micro, Brusa and Alpitronic were ranked “High-potential.”

  • ABB, Dialog, Omron tops in control methods. With efficient products and partnerships, ABB, Dialog and Omron are the “Dominant” companies pursuing control methods innovation. Start-ups have attained varied degree of success, with Varentec, FINsix, Gridco and Cirasys are all rated “High-potential.”

  • Bosch, Schneider rule module packaging. In module packaging, the “Dominant” companies are Bosch and Schneider Electric, on account of their strengths in automotive and industrial markets, respectively. AT&S pursues novel energy-efficient packing methods but has found little adoption in the market, while AgileSwitch’s success with its digital gate driver has been limited to the U.S.

The report, titled “Sorting Through the Maze of Silicon Innovations in Power Electronics,” is part of the Lux Research Energy Electronics Intelligence service.