blog / 27.05.2020
What do GaN and SiC bring to power electronics systems and how we can use it? Is there something that Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) power devices’ market really can influence in the Power Electronics community?
Let’s start with the market. Many market segments will be open to GaN penetration only when prices drop. GaN devises manufacturers may say otherwise to try and sell a wonderful world with GaN everywhere, but many applications are too cost-driven to ever be interested.
It’s quite the same story for Silicon Carbide. The technology has been here for a while, but it took time for the right product to find the right market. And that fit happened on a much higher voltage than the current product offering. So potential users had to be patient. The market estimations produced in the early days of SiC looked very optimistic for a while, now they are more reliable (only a few years later).
GaN Power Devices and SiC Power Devices’ market penetration cannot be compared. We know you had many market reports trying to tell you about this marvelous competition between the two Wide Band Gap materials, GaN and SiC. But why would GaN and SiC be in competition on the Power devices market when one gives its best at 1.2 kV to 3.3 kV, and the other at 0.6kV (600V)? These power devices simply do not compare, and so don’t their market penetration. We cannot measure different technologies on a similar scale when they bring different advantages.
GaN is fit for lower voltages, high-end products. It is in direct competition with Super Junction MOSFET, when SiC is in competition with IGBT. The only voltage range SiC and GaN share could be 600V in the kilowatt range applications. But in this voltage range, we believe that GaN will quickly be cheaper than SiC, and there will be no competition. So there’s no huge fight coming up: we’re pretty sure that only one technology perfectly fits your needs.
In the end, one distinction can be made. GaN Power Devices are the best fit for high-end Consumer markets first and followed by electric mobility. SiC technology shows clear benefits in Electric Vehicles powertrain, Renewable Energy and Transportation markets. But we’ll see where the market for these two really goes. And it will be very soon!