Global IGBT Industry Trends – December 2022 Update

Global IGBT Industry Trends


Initially, IGBT modules became the go-to power semiconductor component for a variety of industrial applications. IGBT chip and module packaging technology has advanced over this period through several generations, each with a little increase in performance and dependability. 


The cost of making chips has also decreased because of higher yields and efficient processing methods. As a result, it is frequently possible to increase industrial power conversion equipment’s performance while also cutting costs. 


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Nowadays, IGBT modules are used in applications where GTO thyristors were once necessary. IGBT modules have an insulated module structure that is different from a GTO thyristor’s pressure contact structure and that makes assembly, usage, and maintenance easier. As a result, the field of IGBT modules is more versatile.


Understanding the advantages of IGBT also involves considering the cost of energy and distribution. Thyristor converters have a negative effect on energy expenses, and this can amount to a difference in energy costs of well over 20%, not to mention the cost of installation. The latter is mostly connected to equipment size because using a thyristor typically results in oversizing the required equipment.



With these qualities, Si power devices like TGBTs and power MOSFETs are presently developing steadily. In addition, it is believed that these gadgets will soon play a significant part in consumer and home products. As a result, the amount of detail at which IGBT performance is required for household and consumer products varies.


Over the past ten years, the IGBT sector has undergone a significant transition. Following are the few key product launches of IGBTs in the global market across sectors:

S. No. Company Product Product launch timeline Remarks
1 Bourns Inc. 600-V/650-V Developed and Launched : 2022 It is based on advanced trench-gate field-stop technology
2 Renesas Electronics Corporation AE5-generation IGBT Developed and Launched : 2022 It has been retrofitted to offer in a small footprint while providing low power losses.
3 Semikron Danfoss 1200V IGBT Generation 7 Developed and Launched : 2022 It is specifically designed to match the requirements of motor drive application
4 Magnachip Semiconductor Corporation 650V IGBT Developed and Launched : 2022 It is built with advanced “field stop trench technology” for fast switching speed
5 Dynex 1200V to 6500V IGBT Module Developed and Launched : 2022 The range of high-power modules includes half bridge, chopper, dual, single and bi-directional switch configurations



The most fundamental job of an IGBT is to switch electric currents as quickly as possible while incurring the fewest switching losses.


The IGBT has gained a prominent position over the past few decades in a variety of applications, including speed-controlled, low-power compressor drives in freezers and traction motors in railroads. 


Additional features of the device are produced by the bipolar transistor’s output properties. A PN junction-correlated forward voltage is present at all times when an IGBT is operating, and it can only convey current in one direction. Up to 30 kHz of switching frequency is well suited for IGBTs.


Higher switching frequencies can be achieved and switching losses can be decreased using specialized methods, so-called resonant topologies.


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With 90% of industrial uses are for pumps, fans, and other systems that don’t require a two-way energy flow the majority of systems can be addressed by the diode rectifier-based solution.


Advanced semiconductor combinations are available in addition to the most popular topologies. This includes, among other things, numerous multi-level designs, Vienna rectifiers, and matrix-converter architectures.


This new technological edge across architectures could be seen with minimal power losses across 1200V IGBT Generation 7 provides enhanced maximum output power and power density. Less expensive systems are the result of this. In terms of motor drives, the generation seven IGBT will be first used in configurations of the CIB (Converter-Inverter-Brake), sixpack, and half-bridge drive topologies.



  • EV and HEV IGBT Industry Trends

The motor inverter’s function as a switch is where the IGBT really shines in an electric vehicle. It is typically linked directly to the traction motor in an electric car because it is a high voltage, high current device.


In essence, it uses the DC from the vehicle’s battery to transform AC control signals into the high power required to turn the motor. 


IGBT market growth is anticipated to be fuelled by the EV sector’s enormous growth. IGBTs are a crucial component of EV power supplies, and more advancements in the technology will help electric vehicles become more affordable and have a longer range.


The temperature dependency of gate resistance is reduced by 50% using the most recent chip design from Renesas.


In the first half of 2023, Renesas will begin mass producing the AE5 generation IGBTs at its Naka, Japan factory using its 200- and 300-mm wafer lines.


Later, Renesas will ramp up production at its new 300-mm wafer fab in Kofu, Japan, beginning in the first half of 2024. The xEV Inverter Reference Solution is a functioning hardware standard architecture that incorporates an IGBT, microcontroller, power management IC (PMIC), gate driver IC, and fast recovery diode. This design has an inclusive offer towards the xEV Inverter Reference Solution (FRD).


  • Renewables IGBT Industry Trends

A voltage-controlled power electronic device is an IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) module. In fact, they are approved for use in a variety of high-voltage applications that demand smaller conduction losses.


In the near future, the IGBT market is certain to reach new heights due to the trend toward renewable energy. 


Many OEM are making significant investments in R&D. (R&D). The entire supply chain is working very hard to reduce costs and be able to provide a solution that is competitive, dependable, and C02 clean.


Efforts to increase energy efficiency and decrease hazardous emissions are what are generating interest in commercial EV and HEV. 


Additionally, it has grown since the current emissions controversy. IGBTs with high voltage and current will be essential in these applications. This level of integration could be seen across the new 2.0kV LV100 semiconductor device from Mitsubishi Electric uses the company’s insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology and Relaxed Field of Cathode (RFC) diodes as its foundation. It is made for industrial uses that require “middle-ground” power converters between DC 1500 V and 3.3 kV.


  • Rail and Motor Drives IGBT Industry Trends

IGBT modules for industrial applications must undergo more rigorous testing than those for railway traction purposes. Applications like industrial automation, robotics, electric vehicles, solar energy, white goods, and power tools all continue to see an increase in the utilization of motors and inverters. 


The desire to increase effectiveness, decrease costs, reduce footprint, and simplify the overall design is a result of this growth. These modules let designers create compact systems with a minimal amount of interconnects, making assembly simpler, cutting down on time to market and costs, and enhancing overall performance. 


IGBT modules enable the production of effective and affordable motor drives and inverters when coupled with the right IGBT driver. Vector control, also known as field-oriented control (FOC), is a variable-frequency drive (VFD) control method in which the stator currents of a three-phase AC motor are identified as two orthogonal components that can be visualized with a vector. 


It has been made possible by the discovery of low-cost microcontrollers (MCUs). Due to the smaller motor size, lower cost, and reduced power consumption of FOC, which was first created for high-performance systems, it is also becoming more and more appealing for lower cost applications. The integration of Rail IGBT could be seen in the state of the art Siemens Rail IGBT Module that minimizes heat generation and traction noise while increasing the efficiency of the acceleration process.



  • Modular IGBT Trends

The electrical performance of power semiconductor devices is the subject of a long wish list from the power electronics community. Although the IGBT provides the customer with a variety of appealing electrical characteristics, there are still certain limitations, and better features are constantly needed.


Cost-cutting efforts in module manufacture and processing on the one hand, and constantly rising demands on module properties on the other, are what are driving the ongoing development of power module construction and connection technologies. 


This calls for the best heat transfer from the semiconductors to the cooling, both statically and for short-term loads. With adequate cooling, which is necessary for high power and the lowest feasible semiconductor cost, power modules can be used extremely effectively. As a result, from one chip generation to the next, the IGBT and diode chips’ acceptable temperatures increase.


 High chip operating temperatures and effective heat dissipation tighten the criteria for temperature and power cycling capability of the module.


The most recent Magnachip 650V IGBT was increased by 30% in comparison to the previous version. Due to its positive temperature coefficient, this IGBT is also made to have a minimum short-circuit withstand time of 5 seconds and is best for parallel switching. This IGBT’s parallel switching will raise the load current and consequently the maximum output power.


  • Discrete IGBT Trends

Today, engineers employing these devices are primarily focused on increasing operational effectiveness and decreasing losses. High voltage IGBT devices must advance in order to accommodate the raised frequency levels that are currently required, which frequently exceed the 20 kHz threshold as a minimum for many Hi-Performance Power Conversion (HPPC) applications. 


A rising variety of application domains, including solar infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems, and HEV charging stations, are expecting this kind of performance.


The new 8th-generation IGBTs’ main characteristics include Renesas used its long-standing low-loss IGBT design experience to create a distinctive trench gate arrangement, which has faster switching and industry-leading ultra-low power loss properties appropriate for inverter circuits. 


The new IGBTs can accomplish quick switching performance and low saturation voltage properties, which influence the performance index of IGBT devices, using cutting-edge process technology.


The performance index so increases by up to 30% as a result. Renesas also conducted an analysis of the factors causing power loss in inverter circuits before designing the new components to reduce conduction and switching loss.


IGBT power loss, which makes up more than half of the overall power loss in power converter circuits, is significantly decreased as a result.


The information has been sourced from our report titled “Global Semiconductor Industry Quarterly Update”. Download free sample to know more

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