SiC Schottky diode demand takes off in 2009

imsresearchlogoWellingborough, U.K. — The silicon carbide (SiC) Schottky diode market grew 25 percent in 2009, compared to the previous year, reaching an estimated $29 million, reports IMS Research. Growth fell in line with the total power semiconductor market during the downturn, but experienced strong demand in the second half of 2009, according to the market research firm.

The IMS report, “SiC & GaN Power — Quarterly Market Watch,” projects the SiC Schottky diode market will increase by more than 50 percent in 2010. The report finds that PFC power supplies for server and telecom applications currently account for most of the SiC Schottky diodes sold, driven by huge developments in the Chinese telecom and cellular infrastructure markets, and high-system-efficiency standards.

However, many industry experts believe PV inverters could become the largest market for SiC Schottky diodes within the next three to four years.

“Currently, SiC Schottky diodes are the only SiC power devices sold in large volumes. SiC JFETs are also available on the commercial market but have not yet succeeded to the same extent. However, Cree is set to introduce the SiC MOSFET this year; Transic will be releasing its SiC BJTs in 2H 2010, and Infineon will releases its SiC JFET in 2011, thus SiC power devices look very promising for the future,” said Josh Flood, IMS market analyst, in a statement.

IMS Research forecasts the SiC power semiconductor discrete and module market will grow to $110 million by 2012, while the GaN power device market is projected to reach $20 million in 2012. Although these GaN revenues are much lower than predicted by some other industry observers, they are much higher than SiC Schottky diodes achieved in their first three years on the market, said Flood.