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“Smart Manufacturing of China” -- A New Driving Force for Power Semiconductors

China Power Semiconductor International Forum 2017 Offers Solutions for the Industry

By Carrie Gan, SEMI China

On October 24, industry experts and enterprise veterans gathered to discuss new market opportunities and to advance technology to a higher level. Attendees at the SEMI China “China Power Semiconductor International Forum 2017” in Nanjing explored technology trends and applications of new power devices, wide-bandgap semiconductor GaN and SiC devices, and assessed development trends of core equipment and materials in the supply chain. In his opening speech, SEMI China President, Lung Chu described the importance, maturation, and forward-looking ideology of the forum with the following two-sentence poem, “Years of hard work in the field, making great efforts to reach a higher level." As the “Smart Manufacturing in China” initiative advances new development opportunities are created for the power semiconductor industry. Power semiconductor devices play an increasingly important role in end-markets such as mobile communications, consumer electronics, new energy vehicles, power generation, distribution and so on.

In the following keynote speech “Development Trends and Opportunities of The Global Semiconductor Industry”, Lung Chu stated that “The next wave of semiconductor growth shall be driven by new technologies and applications, while China is currently the world's largest and continuously growing semiconductor market." He noted that 2017 has been a very positive year for the semiconductor industry due to strong growth expectations: global semiconductor revenues are estimated to exceed $400 billion in 2017, according to Gartner's projections.


Lung Chu, SEMI, offered a detailed analysis of current industry developments and future trends of the global semiconductor industry. The analysis included a productivity analysis of the semiconductor industry, semiconductor materials market overview and forecast. He also emphasized that although China is currently the world's largest semiconductor market, China's semiconductor industry relies heavily on imports. As such, semiconductors are China's largest import, resulting in an enormous trade deficit. That is why the Chinese government has promoted the semiconductor industry in recent years. He expressed that the semiconductor is a global industry that needs to be integrated into the global industry ecosystem. SEMI, as a global semiconductor industry association, upholds the concept to “cross over the world, integrate concentration with chip” and is committed to providing sustainable development for the industry, and connecting the global semiconductor industry supply chain.

Zhuang Weidong, General Manager of Nanjing SilverMicro Electronics LTD., shared his keynote speech: "Future Demand over Silicon Carbide Module for Electric Vehicles." In the application of electric vehicles, Wide-Bandgap (WBG) power devices—like silicon carbide module—are becoming more and more popular.  As the current drive inverter switching frequency of most electric vehicles is less than 20KHZ, more compact, lightweight silicon carbide modules with high operating temperatures and high performance will be the future of electric vehicle drive inverters.


ALLOS Semiconductors CEO Burkhard Slischka presented his keynote speech: "The Right Strategy for Developing GaN Power Electronics." He asserted that as early as 5 to 15 years ago, about 10 companies invested heavily to develop the emerging technology. Currently, if companies want to follow this market, they need to answer a question: "What is the right strategy for developing GaN power electronics?" Burkhard Slischka said that the market for GaN- on-Si high power electronics is being phased in and GaN- on-si technology has been used in areas such as HPE, RF and Micro LED.


In his keynote speech, "To the Broadest and Most Precise," Xu Zheng, Global Marketing Director of WeEn Semiconductor Co., Ltd., offered detailed analysis and prospects of the global power semiconductor. He pointed out that power devices are the basis of the semiconductor industry’s stability and reliability, making them fundamental to the industry's development. Regarding China’s high power UPS market in 2017, he believes that the market scale of IDC has been expanding continuously, driving up demand in the UPS market. In 2016, the market size of UPS in China reached 6.84 billion yuan, up 20% year on year, and it is expected to maintain a steady growth in the future. The sales of high-power UPS over 10KVA in the domestic market has increased from 70% in 2014 to 76% in the first half of 2016, and it is expected that high-power UPS with high gross profit will grow significantly faster than the industry in the future. At present, more than 50% of the domestic high-power UPS market is in the hands of foreign manufacturers including Schneider, Emerson, and Eaton. The UPS domestic market will enter the phase of import substitution, which will result in rapid market share growth for domestic companies.


Zhang Wenbin, Vice President of Sales for Greater China and Southeast Asia of American EPC, gave a detailed presentation about how gallium nitride power devices promote development new applications in his keynote speech, “How Does Gallium Nitride Power Device Push Development of New Applications in Real Life?” He also explained the reason why the commercial value of gallium nitride power devices have only appeared recently after being in development for 30 years by examining the bottleneck for process development process and how that bottleneck was overcome. He also looked at the opportunities for gallium nitride power devices.


Senior Director Charles Bailley from Asia, Sales, Mktg & Apps, GaN Systems Inc. shared New Era of Gallium Nitride Power Devices for Power Conversion. GaN has a lower cost than SiC, which can be a good substitution of IGBT and MOSFET, he explained.


Chen Kai, CEO of Enkris Semiconductor, presented the progress of GaN materials used in power electronics.


Feng Gan, General Manager of Epiworld International (Xiamen) Co., Ltd. shared his opinions on “Progress of Silicon Carbide Power Semiconductor Epitaxial Growth Technology" during the forum.


Deputy Chief Engineer Liu Guoyou from Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co., Ltd. explored several issues about IGBT and its manufacturing process. He also introduced IGBT technology research and development and industrialization progress of the company.


Huang Sen, a researcher at the Institute of Microelectronics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, gave a keynote speech entitled Preparation of Si Base GaN Enhanced MIS/MOS- HEMTS.


Li Chuanying, General Manager of Hestia Power shared technology developments and applications of advanced silicon carbide MOSFET product and offered a detailed introduction of SiC materials properties, design of SiC JBS key components, design, production, test of SiC MOSFET components and important considerations for reliability testing.


In the closing speech of the forum, Huang Hongjia, Senior Vice General Manager of Nexchip Co., Ltd. presented his opinions on the status quo of China's integrated circuit development and the challenges smart car electronics manufacturers that encounter in his talk titled, "Smart Car: Opportunities and Challenges for China's Integrated Circuit Development." He pointed out that in the coming years—as environmental protections increase for energy production and as artificial intelligence is rapidly developed—smart cars are likely to be the next killer application for integrated circuits after the smartphone. The “Made in China 2025" plan, released by the State Council, makes clear that new energy vehicles and self-driving cars are among the top 10 strategic industries. China’s policy goal to achieve 75% smart car permeability by 2030 represents billions of dollars of market opportunities and that success will come by working together to achieve these aggressive targets. He stressed that working together as an industry is essential for the integrated circuit industry.


Global Update
Nov. 7, 2017