New materials for active components will significantly impact packaging & cooling systems
In 2016, almost 25 million cars manufactured will be electrified, the majority of them being micro-HEV, with a low level of electrification. However, some 5 million will be full HEV, plug-in HEV or EV.
As a consequence, electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) will represent the biggest accessible market for power device and system makers. Without getting completely mature, the EV/HEV industry has seen its first steps toward standardization. Electrical configuration shows a preference for parallel and split structures. Following the same logic, DC/DC boost converters and DC/AC inverters architecture for full HEV and EV are adopted. Getting the best switch at the lowest cost is a must. IGBT will continue having a bright future in hybrid and electric cars.
EV/PHEV power module market
We expect the power module market to be near $5 Billion, most made with IGBT. It is huge and will change the game in power electronics market!
But there are still some uncertainties:
The powertrain supply chain is being absorbed by car makers on one side and power device module makers on the other, leaving few free space to tier one suppliers. The supply-chain is literally changing. With EV/HEV, the traction's main part becomes the inverter and the motor. We will experience great improvements with innovative switches, inverter designs and topology, regenerative braking etc...
Car manufacturers need to keep that added value, and thus they already started covering the value-chain starting from the semiconductor die. Toyota is even deeper in the supply chain with silicon wafer production capability. GM is closer to Delphi, and they still have manufacturing available at Kokomo (US). And we can't forget the Chinese companies. BYD is now producing IGBTs, and many Chinese semiconductor foundries are now able to do the same.
China will soon have enough experience to enter foreign markets. The companies in an uncertain position are the European ones: Volkswagen, PSA or Daimler do not have such advantages, and may play with their tier-ones (Valeo, Continental, etc...).
This is also an opportunity for new players. Tesla and Coda are one of those who can come and play with the big ones.
In addition, Chinese companies, supported by the Chinese government already benefit from big car brands and electrified transportation platform to first protect the local market from Occidental and Japanese ones and then expand abroad.
Technology wise, we see a common interest from car manufacturers in active and passive devices since there is a global need for integration. Moreover, decisions on the former will have consequences on the latter.
In addition, passive device manufacturers are beginning to understand the overall consequences of semiconductor improvement on their business .
Power module packaging trend in EV/HEV
The challenges are related yet very different. Therefore, this report is structured as follows:
Passive components used to be the hidden part of power conversion. They are now under spotlights and it is deserved: they represent nearly a quarter of an inverter cost. Better efficiency, signal quality, lifetime, even silence is part of what they can bring. Today's hot topic is capacitor, but Yole Devéloppement extended its research to resistor, connectors as well as power distribution (busbars) to draw the complete picture of EV/HEV inverter market.
Capacitors are becoming application specific, and design and engineering for EV/HEV is very active, starting with form factor. Film capacitor market, used in DC link, are representing 95M$ in 2011, and expected to grow of 48% each year in average. The film capacitor market is hot due to shortage. Film producers cannot produce in enough quantity. EDLC (Electric double layer capacitor) is the other hot topic. Batteries have their place in EV/HEV for long term energy storage, but when the storage/usage cycle is very short, the so called supercapacitor are more of interest. They are already placed in micro hybrid systems and may enter the EV market for regenerative braking at traffic lights. The re-use of energy would then become even more efficient. EDLC CAGR is to reach 44% for the 2010-2020 period and there are plenty of opportunities to catch.
Power resistor funtions in an hybrid/electric car
Connectors market is also of interest. They will represent more than 8 Billion $ in 2020, including charging systems and peripherals. This huge market is not standardized yet , and thus, each manufacturer is able to bring its added value from an IP. However, several threats are onto connectors market. Others connectors makers for PV market or signal can penetrate. Competition will be very strong on a market widely driven by cost. In parallel with connectors, we observe the evolution of internal power connections. Between power PCB, laminated busbars and molded busbars there is a choice to be made regarding the inverter architecture and the electrical needs. We see specific developments coming, as Rogers Corp. who has a solderable busbar especially for hybrid cars.
Resistor market is a bit apart from the others, quiet and without much innovation. The opportunities maybe on integration: capacitor, busbars and resistors all together may represent a high added value.
Brice Le Gouic is in charge of power electronics and related applicative markets activity at Yole Devéloppement. He was granted a Master of Science degree in semiconductor physics & microelectronics from the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Toulouse, France.
Alexandre AVRON is a full time analyst in power electronics at Yole Devéloppement. He was granted a Master degree in Electrical engineering, with a major in power electronics and microelectronics processes, from Applied Sciences National Institute (INSA) of Lyon, France.
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