Power electronics devices like MOSFET and Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor or IGBT are some of the most popular technologies that are leveraged to build digital processing chips.
Though an engineer has a long-lasting familiarity with IGBT Module Technology, only a few people know about power-switching silicon transistors.
Placed under one of the most popular and commonly used power electronic switching devices, IGBT Module Technology is typically used in amplifiers for either switching or processing complex wave patterns with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
Demand for IGBT Module Technology is especially high as the IGBTs are mainly used in power electronics applications like inverters, converters and power supplies that form the basic components of every electronic device.
Discrete IGBT devices and IGBT Module Technology can therefore, be easily integrated in a variety of applications like EVs and HEVs, industrial motor drives, wind turbines, trains, UPS, EV charging infrastructure, photovoltaic installations and even in some home appliances.
Due to the instant switching power of IGBT Module Technology, IGBT’s are commonly used in inverter DC-to-DC circuits for propelling small to large motors.
Nonetheless, before we explore the current market scenario of IGBT Module Technology, let’s take a glance at the technology itself and its mechanism that makes it unique.
What are IGBTs?
Despite talking about IGBT Module Technology at length above, firstly we must understand the technology and mechanism of such transistor.
Similar to its name, Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) is a combination between a BJT and MOSFET.
IGBTs symbol shows a fusion where we can see the input side representing a MOSFET having a Gate terminal and the output side representing a BJT with Collector and Emitter.
To simplify it further, the collector and the emitter sides are conduction terminals and the gate is the control terminal through which the switching operation is controlled.
Therefore, the outcome obtained delivers the output switching and conduction characteristics of a bipolar transistor, whereas the voltage is controlled like a MOSFET.
To get a more thorough understanding of an IGBT Module Technology and its architecture, IGBT possesses three terminals attached to three different metal layers, wherein the metal layer of the gate terminal is tightly packed and insulated from the semiconductors by a layer of silicon dioxide.
Typically, an IGBT is built with 4 layers of semiconductors that are sandwiched together.
Here, the layer closer to the collector represents the p-type substrate layer above that is the n-type layer, and another p-type layer is kept closer to the emitter, wherein inside the p-type layer, we have the n+ layers.
All these layers are then provided with terminal ends that are later used in switching applications that define IGBT Module Technology.
IGBT Market Scenario
To get the feel of IGBT Module Technology and its market, one can summarize the whole scenario in this line, “IGBT Market is expected to garner around $11 billion by 2022”.
However, to understand how IGBT Market is harnessing these big investments and cash flow in the long run, let’s check the market areas of IGBT Module Technology.
Ever since there is an increasing demand for the electric vehicle along with the need for high voltage operating devices, industry experts have seen higher adoption of IGBTs and their components in energy & power, automotive, industries and consumer electronics.
Global IGBT Module market has been predicted to show moderate growth in the coming years due to IGBTs high-speed switching rate as well as the optimized power loss features.
However, real-time issues like current leakage at a high temperature can put a hamper on the market growth.
Nonetheless, many country’s governments have now started following a proactive approach to research and develop IGBT Module Technology to overcome these shortcomings since the world faced a semiconductor shortage in the pandemic period as we discussed in my previous article, “Semiconductor Industry 2022- Design Challenges”.
Although Semiconductor shortage during pandemic times largely affected the budding IGBT Market, according to a report, the year 2020 saw a huge spike in the IGBT market segments of industrial applications and home appliances which were in turn, followed by EVs and HEVs.
This sudden spike arose due to the introduction of a remote working lifestyle and several governments insistence to promote EV culture in their respective countries for CO2 emissions reductions.
Also, since current IGBT manufacturer countries like Europe, USA and Japan tried to fulfill the worldwide demands, the sudden surge in fast-growing demand for IGBTs started pushing mergers and acquisitions. Thus, the whole supply chain is now getting reshaped.
And this is not the end, as several countries are now eyeing to enter this growing market to develop more advanced IGBT Module Technology that will enable them to compete at a global stage.