APEC & PCIM 2017 wrap-up

May is Sakura time and synonym of sweet weather for us in the northern hemisphere. But May is also the month when most announcements are concentrated for the Power Electronics community. It’s the month where we, at PntPower.com, have a lot of work to do.

Now that all this excitement is gone, let’s look back and have second thought about all the news and release that happened during the last weeks.

Power Module is the new SiC trend:

Some say that Silicon Carbide took too long to come. That it’s too slow and many issues still have to be solved. We have some great signs showing that it’s not dead. We can begin with Danfoss, which announced in April the opening of an assembly site on US soil, in partnership with General Electric. The move is bigger than it seems. It’s the come back of GE in the Power Semiconductor business, for the first time in a very long while. Danfoss is, for now, the exclusive user of GE’s Silicon Carbide MOSFET dies (Closed market apart: GE use their own devices).

Other Silicon Carbide MOSFET players are also more and more present and pressing:

  • Infineon announced the availability of new power modules with SiC MOSFETs. The EASY platform, well-known and widely used in a large amount of industrial and electric mobility applications, can now be ordered with SiC MOSFET.
  • Littelfuse presented its everyday growing Silicon Carbide product line. They were progressively stepping and entering the power semiconductor business, it seems now that they accelerated the process, through their partnership with Monolith Semiconductor. You will have to count on Littelfuse in the SiC Market.
  • Rohm is still growing its power module product line. The Silicon Carbide pioneer keeps going on with new products.

The slow evolution of ‘Power Electronics as a service’:

It takes some time to push an innovation and evangelize a market about a new service. That’s exactly what is happening with the power stack trend or ‘Integrated approach’.

This trend appeared a few years ago, with power components designers that wanted to offer more to their customer, in parallel with a consolidation of the market. We are talking about companies like Agile Switch in partnership with SBE capacitors and a few others or Mersen.

The trend is still here, Mersen and Agile Switch are still pushing for it, and according to them and the interview we had at PCIM, it’s starting to take off. A case study was necessary to prove how it was working. The main advantage of this trend is to be searched in the design time and lead time. You get your design done in half the time, thanks to grouped suppliers working together to assist you.

And other trends:

Gallium Nitride is still a subject but it looks like the focus has moved. We have not seen many new devices, now is the time to show how they work and what they bring. Gan power devices designers mainly showed early customers’ projects, products and all the advantages they brought.

Now is the evangelization time for GaN makers, to convince that the solution is viable and worth the investment.

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