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Electric Vehicles to Revitalize IGBT Market

The insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) device market is forecast to reach $6.2 billion in 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent between 2014 and 2020, bolstered by the electric vehicle market, according to Yole Développement (Yole). By 2020, Yole expects electric vehicles to account for 50 percent of the IGBT market.
IGBTs were first commercialized about 30 years ago and are used in all power electronics applications across diverse industries. The report, “IGBT Technology & Market Trends” (July 2015 edition), finds the IGBT market will find a second life with vehicle electrification. The electric vehicle market is “impacted by the Chinese companies willing to compete with European and Japanese leaders and challenged by the latest innovative technologies at the module level, especially the packaging.”
Yole finds that Chinese players are focused on vertical integration to create market leaders in each of the growing application areas for power electronics such as photovoltaics, wind power, and EV/HEVs. In comparison, European and American companies continue to focus on horizontal integration, which drives partnerships and joint ventures.

“Vehicle electrification is heavily impacting the IGBT market, with huge volumes and significant added value because of the power modules used,” said Coralie Le Bret, technology & market analyst at Yole, in a statement. “Vehicle volume will be critical by 2018, and the IGBT devices market for electrified vehicles will more than triple over the next six years.”
“By 2020, we expect electrified vehicles to represent almost 50 percent of the IGBT market,” Le Bret continued.
As a result, IGBTs for consumer and white goods markets are expected to slowly lose market share. However, other markets including grid, photovoltaics, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) driven by data center growth are expected to show growth.
Other key findings indicate the IGBT market has a well-established and mature supply chain. It’s also expected that very high voltage and high voltage IGBTs will gain market share over the forecast period.

Yole expects market growth for the overall power electronics industry to be driven by increased electric and hybrid vehicle (EV/HEV) sales, along with demand for renewable energy and smart-grid technologies.
“Power modules, and more precisely IGBTs, will lead this growth. Modules are expected to reach a CAGR 2014-2020 of 10.3 percent, compared to 5.1 percent growth for discrete components,” said Mattin Grao Txapartegi, technology & market analyst at Yole, in a statement. “This growth in the demand of IGBT modules is due to their improved overall performance in terms of efficiency and thermal conductivity management.”