Its module operation in Hungary, Vincotech, will be essential to this growth, says Toru Sanada, Executive Officer In charge of Semiconductor & Devices at Mitsubishi Electric in a briefing in Tokyo. This follows the buyout of its Powerex joint venture with GE in the US to focus on automotive power devices.
This is one of the four areas the business will focus on, says Sanada. These are home appliances, industrial factory automation and renewable energy, DC transmission and automotive, and will be driven by higher volume manufacutring of silicon and silicon carbide (SiC) power devices on larger wafers. The global market for IGBT modules will be $7bn by 2022, dominated by industrial applications and Mitsubishi aims to grow the power business to ¥20bn ($2bn), or 30% of the market by then, up from ¥130bn ($1.3bn) today.
This will be driven by the next generation silicon IGBTs with thinner devices with lower RDSon and integrated diodes on 8in wafers, as well as SiC trench MOSFETs built on 6in wafers, up from 4in wafers today. The higher density trench devices, coupled with the larger wafers, will provide higher volume production and lower cost devices in consumer applications, he says. However there is no mention of gallium nitride (GaN) devices in the power business in the next five years. The company does have GaN product in its high frequency RF business alongside gallium arsenide (GaAs).
One key area is that the company will continue to work with Vincotech in Hungary on the production of intelligent power modules (IPM) using the discrete devices and modules, says Sanada. This will lead to more standard products and more jointly developed modules, he said.
For transmission systems the successor to the X-series modules in 2022 will use SiC devices with current densities above 10A/cm2, 40% higher than today. For hybrid electric vehicles, the J1 and J1A modules will target motors from 50 to 150kW and also start to use SiC devices, says Sanada.
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