Automotive power semiconductor market continues soaring

January 19, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The global market for power semiconductors used in cars and light passenger vehicles will grow by more in $3 billion USD in the next six years, predicts market research company IHS Markit.

In its latest report, the market watcher forecasts the total market for power semiconductors – which includes discretes, power modules and power ICs) - to increase from $5.5 billion in 2016 to more than $8.5 billion in 2022. Revenue is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 7.5 % from 2015 to 2022.

“Increasing electrification in vehicles generally – and in hybrid and electric vehicles specifically – is energizing the market for power semiconductors in vehicles”, said Richard Eden, senior analyst, power semiconductors for IHS Markit.

Also contributing to the rise of power semiconductors, the report notes, is the automotive industry’s mission to offer self-driving, ‘green’ and connected cars in the next decade. According to IHS Markit, intermediate safety milestones such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and platooning are necessary to realize a road system that will accommodate self-driving cars. Other factors in the trend toward more power semiconductors include the need for more fuel-efficient systems, reflected by increasingly electrifying auxiliary units such, a higher proportion of electric vehicles, and more electronic content per vehicle as required for improved vehicle emission levels.

IHS Markit categorizes five domains on a vehicle: Body and Convenience, Chassis and Safety, Infotainment, Powertrain and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Of these, Powertrain accounted for 47 % of the total market for automotive power semiconductors in 2015, the report indicated.

Anticipated growth in sales of hybrid and electric vehicles in the next few years will spur power semiconductor sales to climb by CAGR 9.6 % from 2015 to 2022 across all vehicles, taking Powertrain’s market share up to 54 % of the total market, the report says. Discrete IGBT power transistors account for most of Powertrain power semiconductor revenue, but increased integration of discretes into modules will cause IGBT power module sales to increase at a much faster rate.

The Chassis and Safety category represents the second most-valuable automotive domain for power semiconductors, accounting for 24 % of the total market in 2015. In contrast with Powertrain, the use of power semiconductors in Chassis and Safety will only grow with CAGR of 3.1 % from 2015 to 2022. Biggest users of power devices in this domain are applications such as electric power steering, anti-lock braking system and electronic stability control, airbags and tire pressure monitoring, which are already relatively well-established in vehicles.