Greener BeeGreen ElectronicsResearch and Markets: Inverter Technology Trends & Market Expectations 2012


Research and Markets (
has announced the addition of the “Inverter
Technology Trends Market Expectations 2012”
report to
their offering.

Because of continued strong interest in green energy, power electronics
for electricity conversion is experiencing important growth. Starting
with a total inverter market size of almost $44 billion in 2012,
analysts estimate that it should reach more than $55 billion, with a
high CAGR for applications such as EV/HEVs and renewable energies. The
overall shipments of inverters for every power range should reach almost
28 million units. As a consequence, semiconductor power modules market –
mostly driven by IGBT modules – will also reach important values: $1.64
billion in 2012 thanks to EV/HEV applications having a 29% CAGR from
2011 to 2016. Power modules will also be the place for the introduction
of wide band gap semiconductor materials. Indeed, drivers such as form
factor reduction, efficiency, reliability and weight will push compound
semiconductors into the power modules, with a forecasted market size of
$150 million by 2016 with a fast ramp up adoption from 2014.

Last but not least, passive components and connectivity solutions such
as power connectors and busbars will also represent a huge market.

This report highlights the adoption of new passive components like super
capacitors, developments around connectors as well as power signal and
communication features. The general growth trend of power electronics
will also drive more standard components such as resistors and in total
we estimate that the passive and connectivity components market should
reach $2.7 Billion.

Semiconductor Technological Developments to Enhance Inverter

The heart of developments clearly come from the evolution of
semiconductor devices! These developments, mostly oriented by device
performance also have an impact on other parts of modules and inverters:
power packaging, system size reduction, performance, passive and
connectivity solutions.

This report shows, however, that SiC and GaN-based switches are not
ready yet to penetrate the market in high volume: indeed, technology
still needs improvements and cost reduction. Yole believes that mass
adoption will not come before 2015. In addition, compound semiconductors
will still compete with silicon based technologies such as (fast) IGBTs
and Super Junction MOSFETs, specially driven by new inverter
architectures like NPC at the power modules level.

Power Packaging: Important Developments from Application
Material Standpoints:

In order to illustrate advantages of new semiconductor devices, this
report will provide a clear understanding of power module packaging
evolution. Today, semiconductor manufacturers, power module makers and
system integrators are looking for: more reliable interconnections,
materials which withstand higher working temperature, and ways to remove
or reduce cooling system size. Indeed, due to the higher switching
frequencies and heat coming from external sources (external motors, high
ambient temperature) semiconductor dies are getting closer to the heat
dissipation system. This also means die attach materials are being
investigated in order to maintain strong connection between the DBC and
the semiconductor device. Copper wire bonds or Aluminum ribbon bonds are
preferred to standard Aluminum technologies (which still represent 90%
of the market), since they also support harsh working conditions.
Another track for interconnection is foil-based solutions, which enable
power module volume reduction, higher reliability to vibrations,
connection of SMDs or other devices on top of the module and adoption of
double sided cooling systems.

Of course, all these efforts are done because of entry of new
semiconductor materials, but they are also done to fit with application
requirements. This report highlights the drivers’ priority by
application: today, some cost driven applications such as motor drives
or UPS are not ready to implement those new types of modules because
added cost of it is too important for the overall system. In parallel,
PV inverters, trains or electric and hybrid vehicles are the key drivers
for power packaging research.

Out of the standard material suppliers for the electronics industry,
three types of power electronics companies are likely to work on RD for
power packaging:

– Semiconductor device and module makers, such as Infineon, Toshiba or

– Power module makers like Semikron, GE Global Research or Starpower

– Inverter manufacturers like DENSO, Yaskawa, Alstom or BYD.

Who Should Buy This Report?

– Silicon and compound semiconductor suppliers

– Semiconductor equipment suppliers

– Power device and module makers

– Passive device manufacturers (resistors, capacitors) and connectivity
solution providers (connectors and busbars)

– Inverter makers and end system integrators

– RD laboratories for power electronics purposes

– Investors

Some Companies Mentioned Include:

– Chrysler

– Citroen

– Fuji Electric

– Gamesa

– General Electric

– GM

– Goldwind

– Hitachi

– Honda

– Hyundai

– Hyundai Rotem

– Icemos

– Idealec

– Maxwell

– Nissan

– Panasonic

– Renault


– Schneider Electric

– Seika Electric

– Siemens

– Skoda

– Skoda Transportation


– Toray

– Toshiba

– Toyota

For a full list of companies mentioned, table of contents and further
description of this report, visit

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