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Status of power semiconductor devices industry

December 3, 2012 2 comments

Power2There are more available solutions than ever in power devices, according to Alexandre Avron, market and technology analyst, Yole Développement. The landscape is moving, and its moving quite fast, from every region of the world.

There are many opportunities for power device manufacturers. This is the time for strong strategic planning and making the best choices. He was speaking at a seminar on the power semiconductor devices industry, in Lyon, France.

IGBTs and SJ MOSFETs
Silicon is not dead and will still live for a long time. Standard device design are slowly disappearing (planar IGBT, planar MOSFET). IGBT and SJ MOS are highly mature technologies. Rules of competition are evolving.

Historic players need to keep on innovating. New entrants have a different business model: there are more and more foundries, with fab-less and fab-light players. IGBT is still a key asset: master and secure IGBT supply is necessary for system makers. SJ MOSFETS will be used in more and more systems, taking market shares to planar MOSFET.

About SiC and GaN, there is still a big question mark: Where and when? With time, it is becoming clearer. SiC will target medium and Power3high power. From our point of view, medium power (1200V base) is a mean to arrive to high power (+3.3kV). R&D has to go through this to reach higher voltage. The main issue is still on current ratings (having a high impact on cost).

GaN will target low and medium power, and will probably allow extraordinary power supplies designs (Tiny supplies, very high frequency systems). It is almost ready for 600V, but not yet at 1200V. It leaves room for SiC to develop and expand.  Major players are involved on both fields — SiC and GaN. They need to be present on both domains, as there will be an overlap, but the split is unclear: we will probably experience a very fine segmentation, not only by voltage or current, but also by frequency, ruggedness, system size, temperature of operation or maybe culture or history.

SiC is now here. First full SiC PV inverters are available. First field tests for SiC in rail traction is ongoing. GaN is under qualification. According to the most advanced players, 600V GaN devices samples are tested by system makers.
Read more…

Top 10 semiconductor growth drivers: Intersil

February 16, 2012 2 comments

David Bell, president, CEO and director, Intersil Corp.

David Bell, president, CEO and director, Intersil Corp.

Intersil is a strong company with long heritage, according to David Bell, president, CEO and director, Intersil Corp. It is currently building intelligent, innovative leadership products, and targeting fast growing markets. India is key to Intersil’s success. He was speaking on the occasion of Intersil announcing expansion plans in India.

The company is a leader in high perfornance analog and mixed-signal ICs, and has 35 global locations, including 17 design centers, and had a revenue of $761 million in 2011. It offers a broad range of analog and mixed-signal products for power management, analog and mixed-signal and consumer products.

Intersil’s ‘asset-lite’ manufacturing benefits include access to advanced technologies, speciallized technologies that are retained in-house, flexible capacity and reduced risk. It is developing more integrated and intelligent products that simplify customers’ design process.

Top 10 growth drivers
According to Bell, the top 10 growth drivers today are: active cables, audio, automotive, dense power conversion, digital power management, digital power modules, PC power management, pico projectors, optical sensors and security surveillance. Read more…

Overview of emerging power management opportunities


First, I must thank my friends, Lou Hutter, SVP and GM, Analog Foundry Business Unit, and Aabid Husain, VP of sales and marketing, from Dongbu HiTek Semiconductor, for sharing the presentations made during an EE Times virtual conference on emerging power management opportunities held on Sept. 16.

The conference participants were:
* Stephan Ohr, panel moderator and research director, Analog and Power Semiconductors, Gartner Inc.
* John Pigott, Freescale fellow, and analog IC guru and designer, Freescale Semiconductor.
* Ralf J. Muenster, director strategy and business development, National Semiconductor.
* Wayne Chen, VP for Technology and Operations, Triune Systems.
*  Lou N. Hutter, SVP and GM, Analog Foundry Business Unit, Dongbu HiTek Semiconductor.

Gartner’s Ohr started by indicating Gartner’s position on power management products. The standard analog ICs were a $15.2 billion market globally in 2009. Voltage regulators made up $7,394 billion, amplifiers $2,675 billion, data converters $2,567 billion, other analog $1,331 billion, and interface ICs $1,198 billion, respectively.

Voltage regulators – power management ICs accounted for 48.8 percent of the analog market. Voltage regulators continue to show strongest growth, growing at a CAGR of 11.1 percent for the period 2009-2014.

Power management ICs forecast
The global revenue forecast for power management ICs by market segment is as follows:

Military and aerospace:
This is likely to grow at a CAGR of 3.2 percent during 2009-14.
Industrial/medical: This is likely to grow from $1,118 million in 2009 to $1,779 million in 2014, at a CAGR of 9.7 percent.
Automotive: This is likely to grow from $415 million in 2009 to $622 million in 2014, at a CAGR of 8.4 percent.
Communications: This is likely to grow from $529 million in 2009 to $988 million in 2014, at a CAGR of 13.3 percent.
Wireless: This is likely to grow from $1,353 million in 2009 to $2,149 million in 2014, at a CAGR of 9.7 percent.
Storage: This is likely to grow at a CAGR of 13.3 percent during 2009-14.
Computing: This is likely to grow from $2,114 million in 2009 to $4,013 million in 2014, at a CAGR of 13.7 percent.
Consumer: This is likely to grow from $1,627 million in 2009 to $2,564 million in 2014, at a CAGR of 9.5 percent.

Server and wired communications remain the biggest drivers.

Emergence of BCD technology
Lou Hutter from Dongbu HiTek discussed the technology considerations for emerging power management markets. He focused on the emergence of BCD (Bipolar/CMOS/DMOS) technology.

There are multiple benefits of BCD technology. These include integration of bipolar, CMOS, and DMOS components. It enables the integration of logic, analog control, and power on same die. It also enables high-and low-voltage, and high-and low-power functions on same die. BCD further enables reduced chip count, and improves reliability through fewer package interconnects. It also enables reduced BOM costs.

Emerging markets, such as automotive, solar and energy harvesting, stand to benefit from BCD. Dongbu is offering the 0.18um platform, which boasts of IP portability and more. Dongbu is offering the BD180LV-30V power process (Epi), to be followed by the BD180LV-30V power process (Non-Epi) in 3Q10, the BD180X 40-60V power process in 4Q10, and finally, the HP180 precision analog in 2Q11.

Hutter explained the BD180LV-30V Optimized Power and BD180X – 60V Optimized Power processes. Optional modules in Dongbu Hitek’s BCD technology include Schottky Diode, thick Cu, PLDMOS, NVM, low power CMOS, low noise CMOS, respectively. Read more…

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