[Update 23/02/2016: We had several questions and feedback about this article. We would like to specify its context, hypothesis and boundaries. As specified in the title, this analysis is focusing on a specific application at a given time. We are talking about small laptop chargers for a design made during 2014 with a product released during 2015. This analysis is to change as fast as technologies, manufacturability and product availability will change. We would be happy to have your point of view as well. Please comment if you agree or disagree!]

Our last blog post about GaN in laptop chargers has been widely spread, read and appreciated (even in the French magazine electroniques.biz). On the other side it left some hypothesis, particularly on the type of devices used in these new FinSix Dart and Avogy Zolt laptop chargers. There was no information at the time. Device makers claimed they were suppliers but nothing could confirm it.

Zolt contains a SiC MOSFET from Cree:

Avogy Zolt laptop charger SiC deviceWe do have one Zolt charger at PointThePower.com but we don’t have the lab to tear it down… Our friends from Chipworks did a very well job dismantling and revealing the inside of Zolt.  It was a striking news : Zolt contains an Avogy power device with a Cree1 Silicon Carbide MOSFET (repackaged by Avogy).

We were sure that GaN was the best device for this application, not SiC. And we are still sure about that. We thought that FINsix and Avogy managed to design their laptop charger using Super-Junction MOSFETs and fast smaller MOSFETs. It appears they did not. What option is left then? Silicon Carbide MOSFET.

But if you step back…

There are a few reasons that would lead one to go to SiC rather GaN, for now:

  1. Don’t trust GaN device makers: 600V is not available for production volumes!

Here are two examples to prove my word:

  • I recently read back interviews with two famous GaN makers stating 600V devices will be available by late 2014. We’re in 2016 now and the same makers do not have it yet.
  • I received an e-mail from a reader last year, pointing at a GaN power device announced in January. It disappeared from the catalog in May. We have no news since then.

I’m sure you all have similar examples in mind. So even if the GaN power device market says it’s ready, I want proofs that devices are available for this specific application. We will investigate these proofs in a market report to be released in April this year. We also have GaN devices teardown reports from our LTEC Corp., Our partner.

  1. Silicon Carbide MOSFET is expensive, but available and working

Chipworks Zolt Laptop charger SiC Cree mosfet

Chipworks’ picture of Zolt Laptop charger with SiC MOSFET

Avogy could order SiC MOSFETs and package them as flip-chip SMD. It seems devices switching faster than SJ-MOSFET was something required for their charger design. This is something possible with Silicon carbide if you are willing to pay the price. It’s a bit more difficult using GaN, even if you are in a wealthy company reading to lose some money.

  1. You don’t need the best charger, you need a working tinier charger… fast!

Have you seen FINSix Kickstarter campaign? I don’t blame them, I’m sure they did the work at its best and I know unexpected issues always rise in an engineering project. But similarly to other crowdfunding campaigns, they are late in the delivery of their Dart chargers. That makes backers a bit mad. Avogy managed to deliver less late compared to FINSix. They also designed something quite fast to make it available. This is a winning strategy that required to pick available devices: Silicon Carbide was the preferred solution.

Image capture of Finsix Dart laptop charger on kickstarter

Image capture of Finsix’s campaign on Kickstarter. See www.kickstarter.com

  1. LED and laptop charger market is about size: not efficiency, not lifetime, and not even price!

Yes: not even price. The chargers that we are talking about are expensive. A Zolt is 99 USD, Dart is about the same price. You have to add an extra 20 bucks if you own an Apple laptop. That is more expensive than Apple chargers, which are the most expensive laptop chargers on the market.

So, for a third-party charger this is very expensive. And with these 10 extra bucks you can definitely put a few dollars in a SiC device rather than struggling with a Super-Junction MOSFET. A third option would be to go for GaN, which will probably be cheaper than SiC when it’s available. We did miss that in our analysis of the situation.

There is also no need for a long lifetime as it’s targeting consumer electronics. These products have a maximum life of 3 to 5 years. Why would the charger last more?

Conclusion: SiC vs. GaN leaves SiC as a winner…in 2015

Again it’s all about availability. SiC has been around for 15 years. Gallium Nitride is much newer. So expecting GaN to be ready yet as SiC is still struggling to establish is quite optimistic. GaN will be ready and as of the characteristics we see, we expect it to eat a great amount of the market shares from Super Junction MOSFET. You get can get more information by downloading the sample of our market report: We will establish how, when and where is this market report to be published in April.


Extract from PointThePower.com Market report to be released April 2016 – (c) Point The Gap

Combine all these reasons together and the best shot if you were designing a small charger using LLC resonant converter topology is either to go for Super Junction MOSFET and optimize cooling like hell… or put one SiC MOSFET die to ease your cooling and optimization design, and be sure you have devices to manufacture you chargers.

I have been working as a market analyst for a few years now, and I start to know about the market, about market players and their habits. There is a common habit in power devices market and start-up world: They are often optimistic.

PointThePower.com tries not to spread too much optimism: because it leads to disappointment.


1: Cree has spin-off its RF and Power business units and merged it with APEI Inc, a company they acquired recently. The new entity is called Wolfspeed.


There was a time when consumer electronics innovations were the adaptation of Government’s and institution’s technology needs, into cheaper home sized devices, like microwave oven or flat screen TV.

Now some technology makers are still trying to renew those old saturated markets with some innovation (like TV market, which failed in selling us 3D and now tries very hard with 4K…), but mostly innovations are now pushed by our everyday – new – needs. Technologies  that are born to make people’s lives easier (healthier, more comfortable, more connected…) led  us to wear and use electronics to measure, help and assist us. That’s what you see when going down the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) alleys in Las Vegas.

Of course, that’s what we love! Cause electronics means power. So it means power electronics. You’ll tell us we see power electronics everywhere… But it is everywhere! Especially at CES 2016. Yes, all our electronics still need batteries…

Electric cars crashing the party at CES

Faraday future electric car prototype concept car

Faraday Future Concept car presented at CES 2016


They took all the space to showcase nothing really new: Faraday Future managed to make the buzz on a concept car, but nothing ready to produce. Tesla and all others like Ford, GM or Chevrolet showed either their EV cars or some autonomous capabilities.

Capabilities which will not be available before 2017 or 2018 for all of us. That’s kind of crashing the party, don’t you think?

Smaller is the new better (for Power electronics)

Innergie ICE 65W laptop adapter - from Delta - Laptop power supply

Innergie ICE 65W laptop adapter – from Delta

We cannot talk about this year’s CES without citing (again) FINSix. The maker of the Dart, claimed to be the smallest laptop charger in the world signed an agreement with Lenovo. Their technology will included in an optional charger for Lenovo latest high-end netbooks. It also seems that Kickstarter’s preorders are close to delivery. We, at Point The Gap, ordered the competing Zolt, from Avogy. We already received it but hesitate to tear it apart to see the inside…

Note that Delta released also a tiny power supply for laptops. It’s called Innergie ice and it’s a 65W, and it looks a lot like FINSix Dart.

Fuel cell are making their way

MyFC showed their small Fuel Cell battery for smartphones. They provide also 2USD cartridges with the 99USD charger that provides 1,800mAh. Enough to charge up most smartphones for a day.

Japan based Aqua Power Systems also presented a USB charger based Fuel Cell technology. It can charge a smartphone up to 20 times before you need to replace the magnesium plates. It can provide up to 30,000mAh from 6-10% salt water.

Do you take your battery with salt or sugar?

Presented at CES, and probably a must have of 2017 or 2018 CES will be lithium-free batteries. You know that Lithium is a limited resource on earth. It costs a lot to the environment. So having another element in our batteries would help us save the Earth.

PDP presented a battery pack for video game controllers using « a physical reaction rather than a chemical reaction » to charge in one minute. We can’t wait to know more about it.

During CES, I found two news about the next type of batteries. The first from CEA in France, and replacing Lithium with… Sodium. It’s not a new technology (known since the 60’s) but with lithium lack and prices, I bet it will raise in interest. Another one came from a Chinese PhD students team which managed to get current out from Sugar and bacteria. It’s not as advanced but still interesting.

Wireless power is the wow thing this year!

Wireless power is the new hype. And we’re checking if it’s worth making a market report about it by the way. Vote here if you want to see a “Market and technologies enabling Wireless power” released!

We have followed the GaN devices maker EPC Corp. tweets and news to know where were wireless power devices hidden ;-)

The biggest were there: Energous, Ossia, WiTricity,Cota, the Wireless Power Consortium…

The interesting fact about this technology is not really that it can help power your mobile phone on a table or ditch the laptop adapter. It can power all the small intelligent objects we see everywhere, and that cannot handle more than a day of life: imagine putting back your « smart sport shoes » on their charging support, with no wire to not compromise the waterproof. Same with your watch, headphones, or all the wearables technologies or small smart objects like ibeacons, tags, etc. That is, from our point of view, the real market for wireless charging.

The technology is here, ready for integration.

This is not really a classical post. You will not learn any new information by reading it… but it could make you see the World a bit differently (well, our World to be precise, the Power Electronics World). See, none of the pieces of news we used for this article are new. But at PointTheGap, what we like to do is see beyond the single news and look for trends, for patterns. And believe me, some serious trends are shapening in front of our eyes!

So if you hibernated for a year and are just coming out of your sleep, don’t bother reading previous articles: you’ll have everything here. And you’ll be able to show off during strategy meetings, or coffee breaks.

1. Tesla and Mercedes-Benz home batteries:

This news was relayed everywhere, mostly because it was a Tesla Motors news. But we, power electronics engineers, saw nothing new in terms of technology. A home battery to store your produced energy and re-use it later? Okay, It’s a UPS for your home, plugged to the PV installation… Mercedes-Benz, and a few weeks ago, Audi as well, were already doing the same.

But this news is actually saying something else, which is of great importance.

A few thoughts, analysis and drafts later, we had it: Car makers finally got that they can become the new « GE », « Alstom » or « Siemens » of the home powered systems.

Mercedes Benz picture announcing the home battery.

Mercedes Benz picture announcing the home battery.

2. ON Semiconductor acquiring Fairchild:

We told there were rumors on-going. We told you ON Semi and Infineon were interested. But, we also told you Infineon already acquired International rectifier this year – and two 3B$ worth acquisitions in the same year are too much. 

So let’s focus on ON Semiconductor acquiring Fairchild. That would be ON Semi becoming getting well positioned in power modules, in SJ Mosfet production. It would be ON semi acquiring some SiC JFET technology and IP…. and much more. In short, it may be the news of the year!

Not listed here is their partnership with Transphorm to package GaN devices. They already gained access to GaN users this way. Yes, they’re in the starting blocks.


But now what? BREAKING NEWS: A Chinese consortium has raise the bid from ON Semiconductor. Fairchild may become a Chinese company.

Game is on! And the results will be key. Follow us through the newsletter, on Twitter or on LinkedIn to stay tuned.

3. International Rectifier’s acquisition by Infineon finalized

Okay, this was announced during summer 2014. But it was finalized in January 2015. And it’s a huge one. It does not happen every day, so we wanted to include it in here. IRF, the inventor of the Silicon Mosfet, is now part of Infineon, the former Siemens Semiconductor.

It’s a transfer from the USA West Coast of Semiconductor from GaN Beach (LA Area) to the Silicon ValleyBut not only: from a strategic point of view, International Rectifier and Infineon are quite complementary in their product portfolio and business models.

IRF is more at the lower et medium power level, up to their 1200V IGBTs. They sell mostly bare-dies, and discrete devices. Power modules and high power is not their thing. Their are also in the low power GaN, with devices used in Audio Amplifiers.

Infineon technologies and international rectifier have complementary portfolio of products on almost all low, medium and high power semiconductors in power electronics

Infineon and IRF complementary portfolio. Source: Infineon

On the other side Infineon is that well known high power, power module based supplier having IGBTs, GTOs and Thyristors up to 6,5 or 10kV. They are also world leader in 600V SJ Mosfet. A technology IRF does not have. And they don’t have any GaN developments on-going (based on public knowing).

4. Google Little Box challenge finalists

The list is here.

little box challenge google IEEEIt’s not the news of the year, but we at Point The Gap want to follow the challenge. Google’s involvement in power electronics (after Google Ventures investment in  the GaN player Transphorm) is unusual, as we could expect from Google, and we wanted to know where this leads.

Rendez-vous is in January for this one. We will be there, and will of course analyzing deeply the results to deliver a clear analysis in a nice and fun blog article. Stay tuned!

5. NXP Acquiring Freescale

Freescale has been in a bad position for a while, but the question remained of who was interested to acquire the company, knowing that Freescale is not a high power player. Through this acquisition, NXP show that they still want to stay at their low power, RF & IoT oriented strategy. They are not the one to get involved in high power trends as electric car power train, wind turbine or photovoltaic.

6. Cree spinning-off Power & RF – acquiring APEI and renaming the whole « Wolfspeed »

Wolfspeed logo GaN SiC Cree power RF

“Wolfspeed” logo.

We knew that it would make sense for CREE to spin-off the Power & RF from the LED business. Technologies are not at the same level of development, and product lifecycle to stay developed under the same brandname. The surprise came from the acquisition of APEI Inc. (Arkansas Power Electronics Inc.).

Cree group created Wolfspeed, a SiC and GaN power devices, power modules and converter specialist. It’s quite a step in the value-chain.

7. Panasonic and Infineon signing a second source agreement for GaN

Okay, that’s what one calls a win-win. Panasonic gains the possibility of being second sourced for their GaN GIT (Gate Injection Transistor: To be explained in our market report).

Infineon gains the possibility to step into the GaN market – not by having devices to propose – but by having a contact with customers. Accessing and understanding unmet needs from customers is the key to enable a technology adoption.

Conclusion: What main trends in power electronics and semiconductor?

2015 was full of great announces. Infineon is at the top of it. The before and after explains it all. Now they have access to GaN customers and to low, medium power devices and dies technologies and market. That is huge.

ON Semiconductor is not that loud in its communication. But succeeding in the Fairchild accessions would make them up to heavy weight of power electronics semiconductor and that is not Japanese. A big « Hell Yeah! » to them, Good job. Hang on and you will impress lot very soon.

Another trend we observed this year is the evolution of the GaN market. Haven’t noticed? All major companies involved in GaN now have a partner: EPC with IDT, Transphorm with ON Semiconductor, Panasonic with Infineon, GaN Systems with TSMC and ExaGaN with X-Fab.

GaN is moving to manufacturing status… If this subject tickles your curiosity we have a report on pre-sales with limited seats available.

Man, we really enjoyed providing all these news and articles this year and hope you enjoyed it too. And we’ll keep on doing it again next year!

Who to buy Fairchild?

According to media sources, Fairchild semiconductor is looking forward to be acquired. The company as commissioned Goldman Sachs to find a buyer. Among the companies interested: Infineon and ON Semiconductor. Infineon already acquired International Rectifier. It was officially signed in January 2015. They were world leader in the power semiconductor market and this move just made them leading even more. Acquiring Fairchild Semi would put them in a very strong position on the power semiconductor industry.

ON Semiconductor is more of a challenger. But they do have quite good technology assets, and acquiring Fairchild would be a good move. It would add Silicon Carbide to their portfolio (even though Fairchild’s devices are not MOSFETs but JFETs which is less standard), but also to their commercial and image strength. They already work on GaN (Gallium Nitride) technology in-house as well as on packaging side through a partnership with the Los Angeles area based (also called “GaN-beach”) Transphorm.

In conclusion, there are high strategic stakes in this deal, and the outcome will reshape the power semiconductor industry.

Fairchild: The semiconductor start-up creator

Historically, a group called “the Traitorous eight”, who left Shockley semiconductor lab to find shelter and founds at Gordon Fairchild’s company, founded the company. Shockley did hire them but due to a lack of management, these eight preferred to gather and make profit of their knowledge on their own. This was back in 1957.


The Traitorous eight, from left to right: Gordon Moore, Sheldon Roberts, Eugene Kleiner, Robert Noyce, Victor Grinich, Julius Blank, Jean Hoerni, and Jay Last

The newly found company rapidly grows into a semiconductor heavy weight. As the company grew, employees left to found their own start-ups. These unofficial spin-offs have been known as “Fairchildren”.

Among today’s well known “Fairchildren”: Intel, AMD, National Semiconductor, Intersil, Exar…

Fairchildren fairchild start-up spin-off analysis strategy



I recently had the chance to test drive a Tesla. Not like any Tesla, the super-powered one: S85PD.

The one that has an “Insane” mode and can beat a Ferrari at traffic lights. Even though there was no Ferrari at the traffic light we stopped at, I can trust the fact that it can compete with many supercars.

And as a power electronics market analyst, I had to ask the sale guy about inverter and power modules. He did not know much about that. It’s not really his job, and he is not a design engineer. He knew a lot about the car and its features (which is enough to sell it) but not about the inside of the inverter, the power train, or the car…

So I asked Siri Google, and I had answers. I ended up on a Tesla car owners forum. I looked into it, and I found pictures and description of the inverter. Like the the picture down here.

Fig.1: 2×14 IGBTs in parallel is one leg of inverter—All packaged in discrete TO247 – From Tesla Roadster and Model S inverter

All about Tesla and power semiconductor packaging

That’s the truth. Don’t go for a reverse engineering on a Tesla inverter. Engineers just made an awesome car with very simple off-the-shelf products. Do not look for any highly special package for power modules International Rectifier (now-Infineon) would have made specially for Elon Musk (just because he is Elon Musk). There is no such thing. The inverter is made of TO-247 packages (Figure 1), derived from TO-220 in the 1990’s in order to handle more power and heat.

They used 20-year-old power module packaging technology to build the fastest electric luxury car on earth. It’s that simple.

I was shocked again! (The first shock was experiencing the acceleration of “Insane” mode.) I wanted to share that with someone. So I went on the internet and asked a very dumb question on the Power electronics group of LinkedIn.

A question that sounded like that:


And many comments, questions and reactions (and “likes”. There are “likes” in LinkedIn too… But you cannot “poke” anyone. I wish we had that feature).

And for those of us who are not hanging out in this virtual professional world of LinkedIn, I wanted to summarize discussions here.

What you get from these discussions

1. “Module or discrete?” is still a 2015 question.

The first power module packaging design question is to know if you are going to use a power module or not. And that is a question that Tesla engineers had to ask themselves and that JB Straubel, CTO of Tesla, asked himself designing the model S. He talked about it during 2010 APEC conference, and I wish I was there :-(

But according to the attendees, the choice of going for TO-series package rather than well-marketed EV series of power modules were:

  1. Simplicity of assembly
  2. Heat dissipation (and thus easy cooling)

Which is in total accordance to any engineer mind designing a product to:

  1. Work
  2. Be efficient

As the rest of the design is not engineering work … most of the time.

2. Power modules & IGBT packaging preconception

Most comments agree on the fact that a power module is a great thing, with a lot of room for innovation and many great features.

But they also agree on the fact that there are other factors to think about, when going for a design in power electronics, depending on the applications.

You still need to think about:

  • Volumes of production
  • Total cost of the solutions
  • Heat spreading and cooling requirements
  • Peak currents, ripples and other EMC stuffs
  • Size

Still you have interesting feedback putting down some preconception on power modules:

  • “The TO series are indeed very tough little beasts and I have been told by a senior semiconductor reliability engineer in some ways more reliable than a module, with respect to bond wires. Not something they usually advertise as the same company also makes modules targeted at EV/HEV”
  • “The TO-series package are really quite outstanding and I’ve used them a lot”
  • “That design allows Tesla to ‘insanely’ run 1500A through the inverter IGBTs and then the motor”

3. Theories on why Tesla made unexpected IGBT packaging choices

For most of the participants in the discussion, the choice of TO-247 totally made sense, but not always for the same reasons:

It could be because:

  • “The design was done when they were not sure about the volumes”
  • “There was no suitable module available at that time” (then what about today?)
  • “They wanted to reduce the risk of failure for this new product”

The point is not actually to try to find the right one, but to think about it.

We are in 2015, and we still find so many reasons why discrete TO-247 packaging could be a very good choice.

Tesla Model S inverter

Tesla Model S inverter – 3 phase represented by the triangle, having each two switches of 14 IGBTS in parallel

4. Power module packaging for EV/HEV—What’s next?

The state of the art and what would be the best choice in the future has also been discussed.

An interesting comment points out that:

the state of the art in power device packaging […] will most probably be in the higher volume, mass manufactured electric vehicles—from Ford, Toyota, GM, etc., There are definitely higher performance packages—with better characteristics in terms of thermal, inductance, tolerance to vibration, etc.

or that:

Tesla might not have the volume to drive custom power electronics packaging.

Which totally makes sense and proves that Toyota has a huge knowledge of how to build a power converter and hybrid car. They started Prius back in 1994 and have all the feedback and experience since then. On the other side, and that is Point The Gap comment: Is power electronics for Hybrid cars and Power electronics for full electric cars the same thing?

You get rid of a lot of constraints, starting with space and cooling restrictions when you design for a full electric car. (e.g.: Tesla’s cars have a rear and front trunk, with batteries under the car and inverters/motor group not taking much space).

4.1 .XT, SKiN and other IGBT packaging innovations

There is also a reminiscence of .XT Technology (Infineon) and SkiN (Semikron). These two technologies have been in one of our articles about PCIM 2015.

From Point The Gap point of view, these are all very interesting innovations. It’s just that they have been presented 2 to 4 years ago, and we are still waiting for available products. Remember the marketing campaign from Semikron in 2013 about SKiN technology. According to them, it may be ready in 2016. Why so much communication 3 years before availability…

And finishing with something that sounds very true to us:

“According to Tesla’s website the Power Electronics Module uses 84 IGBTs to power the 3-phase induction motor, or 14 IGBTs in parallel per switch. Is it the best solution? I seriously doubt it, although it may be the ‘lowest cost’ solution based solely on the bill of materials.”

4.2 Is best power semiconductor packaging “no-packaging”?

A parallel discussion also emerged on discrete packaging innovations. You must know EPC’s WLP (Wafer Level Package). The innovation here is that there is no package. The die has a protection coating on one side and bumps on the other. No wires, no wire bonding issues.

Of course this reduces the risks of failures. But as pointed in a comment: “Chipscale packages/no-packages are exciting at lower voltage and power for converters, power supplies, etc., but PCB interconnects bring back resistance and inductance.” An affirmation that is disputed by no-package manufacturers.

Conclusion: Join the conversation

If you have comments on this, join us in the group. We would be happy to have your feedback. It’s an interesting discussion.

Sources: http://insideevs.com/; https://teslamotorsclub.com

Analyzing Power electronics markets and technologies cannot let you insensible to Gallium Nitride and Silicon Carbide.

I remember my manager in the past, who was always very happy to work on Silicon Carbide. A technology for which R&D and applications was long to come. But it was not easy for him to launch market analysis projects on Gallium Nitride. A technology for which results (and surprises) would come faster.

It’s a completely normal thing. It’s tough. It’s very difficult to analyze these kind of markets. During the last APEC Conference, I remember a question about GaN market size and estimations. Alex Lidow states that he is aiming and will hit a $40B market, an estimation built on all power electronics switches existing. I disagreed and explained why. I will clarify my answer here again, and sustain it with explanations, examples and theories. All of this is open to discussion, as usual with Point The Gap analysis.

1. The ever question of GaN Market size

(or SiC, or Apple Watch.. or any new stuff around here)

That is the ever question. We, at Point the Gap, estimated the total invested money in GaN start-up companies to $400 to 700M. It’s huge. On the other side you have declared and undeclared money invested in R&D by companies into their devoted teams. This makes more than $ 1B thrown into the Gallium Nitride R&D, real world R&D (in opposition to the latest IPO’s from app companies like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter or Uber… Which is a bit less hardware). People will expect that money to come back, with a return on investment factor (left to their discretion). That’s the why it’s invested. And sometimes, you have expectations that are far more correlated to that Return On Investment expectations rather than on the real world.

I heard once a power electronics analyst saying that his raising market curve was accurate, though the x axis (years) may need to be slide to the left. i.e: It will take off, but we don’t know when… Alex Lidow (again) said to me once that our work was difficult. I cannot disagree with that affirmation.

This is where we are standing when it’s about estimations of a market, made of a new material or a device, than can be used in so many innovations, that could be sub-parts of new products yet to come…

But where does this difficulty comes from.

2. Truth does not comes out of the mouth of babes GaN players

Let’s make it clear. The game of leading a hardware technology start-up company is also to tease on your product performances, features, qualities, in order to raise interest whereas you haven’t got it yet. You also need to release a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) as soon as possible, and make it work. Look at today and future crowd founding campaigns. How many of them did hit the release date target? only a few.

I’m not blaming anyone. But it’s the same for the GaN market. We are in a situation where most players are working at R&D, on early stage products and trying to convince the masses that their stuff works. So these companies are either working very hard on their teasing:

  • Hiring communication consultants in order to launch the company, and it’s one day to come product
  • Working in « stealth mode » in order to say afterwards that the so-called period helped them develop a product that actually works (unlike all their competitors)
  • Promise a product that could beat all existing technologies… even in price (don’t forget to read the small lines)

And the last trend in Gallium Nitride market is:

  • Doing the application yourself to prove that it works (our will work when it will be ready): Like Avogy (and its Zolt), Cambridge Technologies or Finsix (Okay, they are not GaN makers…) for laptop charger, or Transphorm with Yaskawa for PV inverters.

For all these last products, either they are not available, or they might be using Gallium Nitride devices in the future (and the doubt is kept) or both…

So relying on official announcements is not a good idea to get a truthful picture of Gallium Nitride market. Unofficial statements are not more reliable; You really have to read (or hear(1)) between the lines. So what is left ?

3. Evaluating GaN Market on today’s knowledge

That’s what you have with most reports you buy on the market: Market is evaluated with a mix of today’s statements, potential market and current applications. You do not see much of these market estimations talking about other potential applications. That is a miss. Look at the IGBT back in the mid 80’s. It arrived, and it was not based on a new material. It even did not push the limits of silicon beyond the known physical limit (which Super Junction MOSFET can do, using a device structure trick).

Still, a few years later, IGBT was not 600V anymore, but went put to 4.5kV and managed to open new possibilities. It created unthought possibilities for high speed trains, helped develop HVDC ( DC current for electricity transportation) among other very good new stuff.

4. Gan Market prospective evaluation: “Evaluating the unknown”

About evaluation the unknown, I have a story for you:

Do you remember the mobile phone world before smartphones arrived? Right before it became a success (potentially thanks to high-speed mobile internet capability). What was inside the phone? Not much of electronics compared to what you have today. And we had designer’s future vision already designed: your phone would become a computer, made only of a screen. Wether you believed it or not is not the question. I remember also the MEMS(2) market at that time. It was made of military applications, of a few fancy products. And then, it suddenly took off, thanks to mobile phones. Now you have at least one, at most three of these devices in your smartphone. Not many analysts saw that coming. And as a meme, I’m using it again here, to tell you the story of what my be Gallium Nitride in the future.

Alex Lidow is good at teasing or showing future applications. EPC corp. Is actually one of the only company talking about what GaN may become, or create rather than what it will replace. An that is a very good thing, because this is how you get closer to an accurate market evaluation. You must think about all possibilities, all options. Then you evaluate their likeliness to happen. But, the tricky is getting all key information. If you did not know about MEMS used to sense movement and how you could build a Wii remote or a « portable screen » rotating when needed, how could you evaluate that market. Well that’s not very different with Gallium Nitride.

This is the only to evaluate the unknown, evaluate Gallium Nitride’s market, without missing a point. Which we, at Point the Gap, are doing.

5. How much more (or less) will be GaN Market and Applications?

Finally, how much is GaN Market? Well, we are working on it and get ready to release a report on the topic by the end of the year. (Register to the newsletter to know when, and get a free sample). And I’m not to tease this before we have something accurate. What I can tell you is that you better count ont these new, prospective applications rather than staying on the old ones. Think about autonomous cars, but not only cars. All autonomous moving stuff (that will use LiDAR, thus GaN devices). Think about small electric mobility: bikes, scooters. Think about drones, about information screens, robots, Internet of Things and intelligent objects in your garage, your kitchen, in the garden or on your pet :-),  and all kind of assistance we may have in the future. think about all that, all together, and then ask yourself how many will fail, and what will represent the market size of successful ones. That is the way we are evaluation markets, and especially GaN market.


(1): As you may know, Point The Gap is gathering information through conference attendance, but also and mainly using phone interviews. We hear a lot of unofficial statements.

(2): MEMS stands for Micro Electro-Mechanical System. These are the sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes, boussoles…). They make your mobile phone’s screen rotate, or are inside Wii remotes.

MOSFET versus IGBT: round 1

The MOSFET or IGBT question is a recurring one. We all have faced this question once. Knowing which type of FET to go for. And the question is still going-on. You can look for the web, and you find an IGBT manufacturer’s e-book about how IGBT’s are such a good solutions for so many applications. But you may also find an e-book teaching you about MOSFETs, their superiority, and how you could use them in almost all of your designs. If this book happens to be written by a famous MOSFET manufacturer, it’s a total coincidence of course…

It reminds me of Transphorm’s former CEO presentation during a Keynote at APEC. He showed us a slide (actually one that I made back when I was at Yole Développement), that he twisted to mock how SiC, GaN and Super Junction MOSFET actors view the same situation.

A great way to teach how marketing and vision alter a message supposed to be objective at first (and why consulting companies like Point The Gap have clear view :-) ).

IGBT MOSFET Super junction MOSFET SiC GaN positionning Transphorm keynote

Figure 1: Transphorm’s CEO presented these picture during APEC keynote sessions: The truth about marketing your products.

So, I’m not here to reveal you a hidden truth for generations (of IGBTs). There is no hidden truth.

MOSFET or IGBT: « It’s trade-off issue », they said!

It’s what « they » said… All the people you met and asked the question. But each time you read a new article on the subject, it becomes blurry. Let’s make things a little bit clearer for everyone.

There are a few cases where the MOSFET or IGBT question is non-applicable:

  • All applications requiring 1700V or higher breakdown voltage for the switches
    • Rail traction, Wind turbines, Grid T&D, Central inverters for utility scale PV, high power motor drives…
    • This breakdown voltage requirement comes mostly from the DC-bus voltage. This bus in motor drive or generator as an example, is the one that conveys rectified DC power to the DC/AC conversion part. This bus, loaded with capacitors to stabilize and filter current, may have a design at 1000V+. This make you have to use 1700V devices or more.
  • All applications at very low voltage:
    • Apart from flash light triggering in cameras (300V IGBTs). You will always go for a MOSFET. From 5V to 400V. Period. It’s smaller, faster, better and sometimes stronger.
    • This includes a load of consumer applications, embedded power conversion to power-up all sorts of functions inside all the electronics you have at home or carry everywhere.

So where does the question applies? For all the stuff between 400V and 1700V.

You can have:

  • Consumer applications: like AC/DC adapters for laptops, tablets and electronics
  • Renewable energy with PV inverter for residential, but also micro-inverters.
  • All the industries using the medium and small range of motor drives (conveyors and/or belts)
  • All small/medium power UPS, in data centers, SMEs, industries…
  • And so many other applications…

The blurry boundaries between MOSFET and IGBT

MOSFETs are good because they are fast. Their switching frequency can go up to several 100MHz. And it’s their main advantage. You also have to think about and Include Super Junction MOSFET in the story. We will write an article about the history of Super Junction MOSFET. But remember that SJ MOSFET have even better characteristics compared to MOSFET. They are also more expensive.

On the other hand, IGBTs can handle more power, meaning that at a comparable voltage, they outperform MOSFETs in current handling capability.

This is the main idea and it comes from losses. All transistor have losses. If we highly simplify the problem, you end-up with two type of losses: Conduction losses and switching losses, respectively happening during conduction mode, or at switching on/off or off/on (you could guess that, right?).

So what happens is that:

  • IGBT have lower conduction losses but higher switching losses compared to the best Super Junction MOSFETs
  • MOSFETs in general and especially Super Junction MOSFETs, have low conduction losses (the famous RdsON they advertise everywhere) but have higher conduction losses compared to IGBT

And this is the key thing you have to keep in mind.

SiC MOSFET or GaN FET: With new generation, come new questions

Next generation compound semiconductor devices are not in the party yet. They are too expensive for you, and you better let another niche applications and adventurous company put Wide band gap semiconductor on the market. But you better watch and try the devices, validate them and get ready to launch.

Though the choice is still blurry for now: GaN FeT should be used for voltages up to 1200V. SiC is giving it’s best at high and very high voltage: 1700V but, based on R&D, it’s outstanding at voltages up to 10kV.

It’s still an unclear boundary. So far, GaN is available at 600V only (1200V are samples).

SiC begins to be used, for very specific applications.

MOSFETs and IGBTs are now becoming a commodity: More and more Chinese companies are able to manufacture IGBTs. Only early generation and simple device designs are available from them, but that’s a sign. On the other side, Infineon recently announced that they are moving some MOSFETs (40V OptiMOS) to their Dresden 12in. (300mm) wafer fab. It’s becoming common and cheap to have Power MOSFETs and IGBTs.

But the market of GaN and SiC is not at it’s breakeven point. Investment is what make manufacturers survive, not sales. This makes us tell it’s early.

How to choose between MOSFETs and IGBTs: frequency and voltage (but mostly losses…)

But mainly frequency. They are still king on their own voltage (low for MOSFET, and high for IGBT). but between 400V and 1700V, you have to choose. Look at the losses, the on and off time, the frequency of your applications, but also now you are looking at the footprint (MOSFET generally have small packages).

Keeping in mind these points:

  • IGBT have lower conduction losses but higher switching losses compared to the best Super Junction MOSFETs
  • MOSFETs in general and especially Super Junction MOSFETs, have low conduction losses (the famous RdsON they advertise everywhere) but have higher conduction losses compared to IGBT.

Update 20/05/2016:

Nissan partnered with Eaton to integrate used EV batteries in home storage systems. Their solutions integrates the charger, the inverter and can operate as a UPS, as a storage for PV inverters or with energy from the grid, etc.

Update 25/11/2015:

Audi also announced they will re-use batteries for fast chargers or to store and deliver renewable energy during demand peaks. So if you are wondering what all electric car makers are going to do with used batteries, just read below.


Well, actually, every big carmaker better not stay just a carmaker to stay big. Some, like Tesla and Mercedes-Benz figured that out. They went on the home battery market, which is to be part of the future of electrical grid or Smart-grid. You don’t naturally make the connection between the smart grid and car markets. Though, and I’m going to tell you why, they are deeply connected.
Which means? Both need to focus on power electronics.

The keys to the electric car market

Let’s think about what are the components and skills to make an electric car.

  1. The energy source: Battery or Hydrogen

The battery is your fuel tank. It’s expensive, bulky, and is the limiting part for your car’s autonomy. Thus everybody talks about it (and they are right) and tries to improve it. Tesla proved it establishing a battery factory.

  1. The conversion

You convert the battery energy into speed, through an electric motor but also some power electronics conversion systems (Point the Gap’s expertise, in case you are wondering…). There is room for improvement here as well, and it’s on-going with the wide bang gap semiconductor revolution. (GaN and SiC semiconductor).

  1. The control (software part)

You also need some smart software to make all these stuff run smoothly together. This is a key part in electric car now. Tesla and many other are working on this control and software revolution of cars: GPS improvements, self-driving, auto-updates adding functionalities to old models…

Carmakers, Train makers. It’s all about transportation energy

Yes, after all, they are both electrical systems made for ground transportation of people and merchandise.

What is essential for a train maker?

  1. The conversion

    • Power electronics is the exact first key thing you need to make a train. High speed train paved the way to innovation in electric traction.
  2. The control

    • Because at 300km/h, you better have some automation in case of emergency. France and Japan did very well on that. Never ever a man died during a high-speed train derailment.
  3. The energy source: Overhead power lines, ground power lines, but no batteries

    • Or maybe just some battery, because you cannot drive a train on battery, but you surely need some comfort in it, and battery is needed for that, during power outlets.
    • But why are battery not so important for a train? Maybe just because it’s energy autonomy is impossible with todays technology. They still are operating with energy sources of a type: overhead for trains and tramways, sometimes ground power lines for metro.

So these two businesses are quite similar in terms of needs. They are just not at the same power level: Kilowatts compared to Megawatts.

Now that we admitted that there are similarities here, let’s dig deeper into train manufacturers.

Electric car and mass transportation: pillars of Smart-grid

Question 1: Cite three train makers?

Yes: Alstom, Siemens, maybe Bombardier, or ABB. As you wish… Mitsubishi, Kawasaki if you live in Japan, CSR (China Southern Railway) if you are Chinese.

Question 2: What’s the link between these companies?

Train market is far to be the sole activity.

All major train makers are not only making trains, but also all sorts of different electric conversion systems at similar power: Electricity transport and distribution, Photovoltaic inverters, Large motor drives, etc…

And these companies have a clear investment strategy into the smart-grid trend and all the current revolutions reshaping the electricity conversion and consumption world. They are deeply involved in smart-grid:

These are only a few examples of how much investment in R&D, projects and time, is made by transportation companies into Smatgrid. The car market, one of the biggest transportation market existing, is no exception.

What is currently happening in the car market will result in something similar to the train market: Major car manufacturers will be also major players of the power electronics world, at their own power range (Kilowatt range rather than Megawatt for train), and will be part of the smart-grid revolutions we are living right now.

Tesla just proved that, by releasing home-batteries, and connecting the car market to the energy market. It’s not their last move, I can tell you. They teamed up with the microinverter company Solaredge in order to build their Powerwall’s conversion part.

Mercedes Benz picture announcing the home battery.

Mercedes Benz picture announcing the home battery.

Mercedes-Benz (Daimler group) did the same a few days ago, announcing their own home battery during Intersolar. By the way, how funny, a car maker making announcements during a solar energy fair…

BYD, the chinese leader in electric car, is also involved in much more businesses, and starting to manufacture their own power semiconductor. Same with General Motors and their fab in Kokomo, IN, and Toyota developing Silicon Carbide devices.

  • Alstom, ABB and Siemens: Smart-grid for transport and distribution of electricity.
  • Tesla, Mercedes-benz, Mitsubishi: Smart-grid for electricity consumption.

The picture is almost complete. Now let’s get things done.

I remember a story told recently by a famous French writer. He was visiting North Korea as the next plot of his novel is happening there. As it’s not a very free country, a guide was with him all along. He asked him: “ Can we visit this building over there”. The guide replied: “Yes, we can do that tomorrow”.

The next day he asks the guide: “So what about the building we will visit”.

And the guide replying all naturally and logically: “I already told you yesterday that we will visit it tomorrow…”

So, I’m not implying that power electronics is like North Korea, not at all. But the story is all related to a very specific logic (or non logic) that looks a bit like marketing: I asked about products availability during the show. I’ve been told that “It will be available next year”. Really?

A wise man told me during these three days that “Marketing is sometimes going faster than R&D”. And I think that this is the best quote I heard during the PCIM exhibition this year.

PCIM, the power electronics place-to-be:

I have been following PCIM conferences for a few years, and I can tell you that they are always a place to be.

Great announcements are made, and daily product release is a standard. We had our set of product releases and announcements for this issue as well:

  • ExaGaN paving their way to GaN FET production with X-Fab
  • Infineon talking about stack monitoring with MIPAQ
  • Infineon also announcing their OptiMOS® production on 12” wafers, at the same time as their new CoolMOS®. (Personally, I see a full strategy towards smaller AC/DC consumer adapters!)
  • And many more…

So we have had the entertainment and technology advancements that we were expecting, as usual.

The venue was great, with more and more companies, bigger booth and very nice set-up: Did you see Hitachi’s Cherry-blossom edition IGBT module?

But besides the positive mind that we all have; I thought about what was going on in the past, and should be here today.

Semikron Skin and Infineon .XT technology: They are arriving… one day

I missed the 2014 edition of PCIM.

With this gap, you have a different point of view, and this is the point of view I want to share in this article.

Four years ago, Semikron released their SKiN technology: A thin foil of polyimide together with foils of copper replaced the wirebonding, and was sintered on the top of the dies. Double sided sintering; this seemed like a “revolution” (as some old friend of mine named Steeve would say!), and we expected a lot from this technology. It came with a heavy marketing campaign, which included at the time, sexy booth girls in tight suit handing out flyers (I could not find pictures… Sorry.)

At the same time every body was talking about Silver sintering, about Copper wires or diffusion soldering (especially Infineon) and about other great packaging technologies that could change the face of the world (or at least the face of the power electronics world).

I, personally, was expecting some fancy stuff again this year.

We had no heavy marketing campaigns, no astonishing announcements, but we had no real news from previous technologies either. And that’s a bit surprising.

I have to say that I was a bit disappointed: No word about Skin at Semikron booth. I have been told that it is not ready yet. No picture, no presentation, no nothing. .XT technology should be ready “next year”, which was already the case in 2013. Most press releases I could read were unclear about products availability.

Semikron roadmap showing Skin technology in 2011

Semikron roadmap 2005-2011 showing SKiN technology date at 2011. Courtesy of Semikron.

And nothing else than wire bonding, some material suppliers (like Alpha alent) showing Silver paste under many forms, a bit of copper here or there, and a lot of people selling power modules for automotive (Are there so many hybrid cars on our roads?).

I was already a bit suspicious about product announcements and technology press release, promising another revolution.

With time, It seems very true to me that “Marketing is sometimes going faster than R&D”. What about innovations to be available next year?

Gallium Nitride Power electronics players on a map, with insight & analysis

delivered with a smile by Point The Power!

See the Market Report

Have you ever seen a Wide Band Gap semiconductor market report talking about laptop adaptors?

[Update 06/2016]: You want to know more about the GaN power devices market and applications? We have a market report released in June 2016, talking about that. Click here to see it!

Nobody I know and that has been working in the power electronics world, forecasted or even thought that WBG semiconductor success will come through a highly massive and common product and market as laptop chargers. They talked about power supplies and P-o-L. But they also pointed out the industrial or professional computing stuffs rather the charger in front of you right now.

Today, Laptop adaptors are massively using Super Junction MOSFET: These are MOSFETs at 600V or 900V using a specific design to enhance electron mobility (and thus efficiency and performance) beyond Silicon standards. They work, they are now massively and easily produced, they represent 61M$ market size just for laptops today and more than 900M$ over all applications. Infineon is moving product manufacturing to their brand new and bigger site in Dresden. SJ MOSFET just fit perfectly and do the job like hell. That is for today.

Zolt and finsix dart Gallium nitride based power supplies

Now let’s look at what power supplies start-ups are doing for tomorrow…

Similarly, I did not see many market reports on Wide band gap semiconductor talking about OnChip Power (former name of FINSix) and how they pivot from LED power supplies to laptop adaptors probably using Gallium Nitride power devices and high frequency conversion.

I have been following FINSix for a while, and have been curious, both professionally and personally, about their product: The Dart. It’s a real breakthrough they are working on. The same breakthrough that made transformers disappear to leave the place to Switch mode power supplies (SMPS) for portable devices. This was during the 90’s and allowed our chargers to become a little smaller, but mainly much lighter. You are not carrying hundreds of grams of a metal magnetic transformer anymore thanks to SMPS.

And FINSix is currently bringing high frequency conversion to the same public.

 We are now seeing another evolution, if not a revolution in the power adapter/charging world, that is very big for all Wide Band Gap community.

Watching Finsix make it’s way was enjoyable. I ended up learning that they were testing Transphorm GaN devices (for the most engineers among us: it’s a Cascode mounted Normally-On GaN-on-Silicon HeMT), together with an Infineon OptiMOS, to build a resonant converter. The real innovation was to transpose that topology, from military or aerospace, to mass production (Shipping has not begun yet…) for a public use.

They developed this tiny charger and managed to have enough publicity and buzz to build a company and a full business model around it. The first idea was to use the design for other purposes, but It seems that investors and deciding people thought money was somewhere else: between the wall plug and your laptop. Don’t misunderstand me: I think it’s a very good idea.

They completed a kickstarter campaign that worked very well ( almost 500,000$ and more than 4,000 pre-sales), attended several CES, and had their articles in CNet, TechCrunch, EnGadget, PCmag and a few other trendy-geeky website. They perfectly managed communication around the start-up and the product. The launch was a success; they got backed by VCs (5.2$M so far), and had media coverage.

Image capture of Finsix Dart laptop charger on kickstarter

Image capture of Finsix’s campaign on Kickstarter. See www.kickstarter.com

And you are going to ask me when is the GaN battle starting?

You don’t have a battle with a single player. And it did not take long before another GaN (Gallium Nitride) power devices manufacturer decided to build and sell their own product.

There was and there still is a battle in WBG, about which technology is best: Between GaN-on-GaN, GaN-on-Silicon or GaN-on-SiC. And the battle is still going on, with several start-up companies (GaN Systems, Transphorm, Avogy and a few others) developing and promoting their own technology.

But to win, you need to produce. You need to make your technology and your devices used in different systems. It’s the best proof that your stuff is working. And for your company to be successful, you need to sell.

Transphorm did well using that strategy. They communicated well. They managed to have their devices announced in PV inverters (with Yaskawa), motor drives, EV chargers and also these FinSix tiny laptop chargers.

And Avogy smelled the opportunity. What happened next? They also decided to develop, announce and produce their own tiny laptop charger.

Introduced during the last CES in January 2015, the Zolt was born. It’s a bit bulkier than Finsix Dart, but with extra USB ports. It’s announced to be shipped this summer and to be in the same price range the Dart is proposed: Zolt is 79USD pre-ordered or 99USD ortherwise, Dart is 89USD pre-ordered.

And that is what I call a battle. And I say, whoever the winner is, if he manage to sell to the mass, this will be a huge market breach for Wide Band Gap semiconductor to enter in our lives (at last…).

Gan products to be released illustration: Zolt, Finsix power supplies, yaskawa pv inverter, delta ev charger and toshiba LED power supply

Extract from PointThePower.com Market report on GaN for Power electronics.

So what if Wide Band Gap semiconductor future was laptop adaptors, and nobody saw it coming?

Now, we are at a situation where FinSiX has quite a lot of pre-order from Kickstarter to be honored while the release of the product is delayed again (to this summer) and people start to complain on Kickstarter’s comments board. The Dart is even part of The Verge’s “CES 2014 products that went nowhere”

On the other side, Avogy has created a very well designed website too, and is featured in The Verge with their Zolt charger, that is announced to be ready sooner than the Dart; even though they started later (And yet there is a big battle on the marketing and communication field).

I will have a lot of questions to ask during APEC Conference in March: Meeting with Avogy and Transphorm is already planned. (NDLR: We could not meet Avogy, but we met Vanessa Green, FinSix CEO in person, and the GaN devices based version does not seem to be current version. Maybe Dart 2.0 will be? and Transphorm’s devices are not the only one being under test).

And if one of these products is a success, it will provide a maximum visibility to GaN devices, and to the company doing it.

Avogy could easily put a “Avogy GaN inside” sticker, like Rohm did for the REFU-Sol PV inverter first featured SiC MOSFETS. This is the opportunity for them to gain visibility, market shares and cash. And we all know that a combination of these three is a very good first step to success.

So let’s watch and see: Which product is released first and is a commercial success? The answer to this two question is opening the door to GaN massive adoption in power electronics.



You thought you were a geek but you did not get a thing of what is said up here? Read this:


GaN, manufacturers and devices:

Gallium nitride power devices main manufacturers and their source for founding

Extract from PointThePower.com Market report on GaN for Power electronics.

GaN is a compound material made of Gallium and Nitride. It’s a semiconductor material called Wide Band Gap. Its gap being wide provides much better performances compared to silicon, traditionally used to design semiconductor devices, even in power electronics (for electric power conversion).

But producing GaN is a complicated and expensive process. Depending on how you do it and how cheap you want it, you end having a Silicon, a SiC (another Compound semiconductor) or GaN (polycrystal) to grow monocrystal GaN on top of it, Each having their pros and cons. This will be the subject of another article.


Chip maker NXP Semiconductors NV has agreed to buy smaller peer Freescale Semiconductor Ltd and merge operations in a deal valuing the combined company at over $40 billion.

Not as much complementary products as the Infineon/International rectifier acquisition:

This deal is following the one made by Infineon to acquire International rectifier a few weeks ago. It is another great news in the power electronics and power semiconductor world, although these two companies (NXP and Freescale) do not find as much synergies as Infineon and IR did for their acquisition.

Infineon technologies and international rectifier have complementary portfolio of products on almost all low, medium and high power semiconductors in power electronics

Infineon and International rectifiers complementary portfolio


NXP is the former semiconductor branch from Philips. They are now one of the big player in the power semiconductor world with a very large and widely used portfolio in low power, power management and RF for consumer electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and home appliances or electronic home devices. NXP is also well positioned as a supplier of devices for connected objects and Internet of Things and all automotive electronics.

On the other side, Freescale was a huge player but had to face some difficulties in 2010. They layed off a great amount of staff and had to change their strategy. They outsourced much of their production. This strategic move’s objective was made to catch profits back. Now they have a good portfolio in RF and low power too. But they also have made some R&D in high power Wide Band Gap semiconductor too.

An heavy player of the power IC, Smart systems and IoT world:

Freescale also seem to have views on the hybrid and electric vehicles market. They partnered with Fuji electric to deliver 600V IGBT power modules for electric cars. They also worked on power module packaging, which is one of the main topics of innovation in the electric mobility world.

Freescale list of products to be rebranded and sold from Fuji electric, and for hybrid and electric cars.

Freescale roadmap of power modules for EV/HEV inverters

The combination of the two companies is a great asset for low power management and RF design and devices. It can also open doors to a new heavy player in power module packaging and Wide Band Gap semiconductor.

And what’s next to come in 2015?

Point the Gap believes this is not the last acquisition to expect in the power electronics world: Fairchild, Mitsubishi Electric, Renesas, ST Microelectronics, ON semiconductor… All these companies are in good or bad shape, and can be looking for targets or becoming targeted. More to come in an Insight article soon…