Demand for SiC power semiconductor devices is 29% annually, and X-FAB plans to double production cap

Date: 2018-09-05
Number of visits: 56

Abstract: Yole predicts that the global SiC power semiconductor market will grow rapidly from $302 million in 2017 to $1.399 billion in 2023.The annual compound growth rate is 29%. To meet customers'growing demand for high-performance power semiconductor devices, X-FAB plans to double the capacity of the 6-inch SiC process.
With increasing efficiency becoming the top priority of the public demand and increasing energy costs, technologies such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), previously considered exotic and expensive, have become more cost-effective. In addition, as the market grows, SiC or GaN transistors and diodes become more and more attractive economically due to economies of scale.

Power semiconductors (such as diodes and MOSFETs) can significantly save energy through several mechanisms.Compared with traditional silicon devices, SiC diodes can achieve much shorter reverse recovery time, thus achieving faster switching. In addition, the reverse recovery charge is much less, which can reduce the switching loss. In addition, the reverse recovery charge is much less, which can reduce the switching loss. As far as it is concerned,SiC MOSFET does not have the trailing current in the traditional switching characteristics of silicon IGBT, so the switching loss can be reduced by up to 90%, and the switching frequency can be increased, thus reducing the dependence on external Flat-wave capacitors.In addition, the broadband gap characteristics of SiC can narrow the channel design of high voltage transistors, which reduces the RDS (ON) per unit area, and enables SiC devices with standard power packages to achieve lower conduction losses than the corresponding silicon devices with similar packages.

Because of the simultaneous realization of low switching loss and conduction loss and high breakdown voltage, engineers can design high-efficiency high-voltage circuits with low current distribution (i.e., low I2R loss).This is becoming more and more important in the power supply circuit of data center. With the increasing number of users, the demand of consumers for streaming media services, the increasing dependence on cloud analysis and storage, and the impact of the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT), servers need higher power to handle more and more computing loads.

According to Yole D veloppement, the global SiC power semiconductor market will grow rapidly from $302 million in 2017 to $1.399 billion in 2023.Rapid growth to $1.399 billion in 2023, the annual composite growth rate of market scale (CAGR) of 2017-2023 is 29%, driven by the demand of hybrid and electric vehicles, power and photovoltaic (PV) inverters.

To meet customers'growing demand for high-performance power semiconductor devices, Germany's Analog/Mixed Signal and Special Wafer Generation Factory X-FAB plans to double the capacity of its 6-inch SiC process in La Berk, Texas, USA.X-FAB is considered to be the first wafer substation factory to provide SiC technology on a 6-inch wafer, and this expansion also demonstrates its commitment to SiC technology and the business model of OEM.

To this end, the company has purchased a second heated ion implanter, which will be delivered by the end of this year, and will start production in the first quarter of next year (in time to meet recent demand expectations).

X-FAB said its 6-inch SiC process has advantages in power semiconductors, including high operating voltage, significant reduction of transistor on-resistance, lower transmission and switching losses, extended operating temperature range, higher thermal conductivity, higher operating frequency, lower parasitic capacitance, etc., enabling customers to achieve high-efficiency power semiconductor devices, including MOSFET, JFET and Schottky diodes. B

X-FAB points out that systems using SiC power devices will benefit from the reduction of system size and weight.In addition, due to the less heat dissipation of these devices, they are more efficient than similar power semiconductor technologies. These advantages are particularly critical for switching power supplies and power converters used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar converters. Wide operating temperature range improves the reliability of devices, especially in major industrial applications such as aircraft, electric racing cars and locomotives. In the application of portable medical equipment and hybrid electric vehicle, it is very important to reduce size and weight.

'With the increasing popularity of SiC, we have long recognized the importance of increasing ion implantation capacity for our continued manufacturing in the SiC market.” Lloyd Whetzel, chief executive of X-FAB Texas, said, 'This is only the first step in our overall investment plan for the improvement of specific SiC manufacturing processes. This step also demonstrates the commitment of X-FAB to the SiC industry and maintains our leadership in SiC agent business.'

It is worth noting that last month, Japanese semiconductor manufacturer Roma also announced an investment of 60 billion yen (about $560 million) by March 2026, which increased SiC power semiconductor capacity 16 times due to the promising growth prospects of the power semiconductor market. (proofreading/nagging)

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