In its recently released market report Applications & Markets for GaN in Power Electronics, market analysts Point The Power have identified the growing role of GaN devices in consumer power supplies, with laptop and electronic device chargers in the first row. By 2022, consumer chargers, it says, will represent 30 percent of GaN power device market
“Consumer systems don’t require the same lifetime and warranty as industrial systems,” said Alex Avron, principal market analyst at Point The Power. “Industry or energy segments like PV inverters need a minimum expected lifetime of ten, sometimes 15 years, when the lifetime of a laptop charger is five years at most.”
Avron added: “It’s a perfect playground for innovation and new product releases. Many start-ups have taken advantage of this, such as California-based companies FinSix and Avogy or Canada-based Appulse Power.”
Laptop and smartphone charger markets are are a good test ground for wide band gap devices and new topologies because of their comparatively short lifetime needs, size reduction as a main driver, and lower price sensitivity.
According to Point The Power, GaN is and will stay in direct competition with Super Junction MOSFET. They are already the most used devices for consumer power supplies of all kinds – with a total market of more than $800M this year.
GaN will allow new applications to emerge for power converters, just as IGBTs and MOSFETs have done in the past; neither replaced Bipolar Junction transistors, but in fact, facilitated new applications.
“Each time a new device has arrived on the market, it did not eat its competing devices’ market share, but rather enlarged the overall market size through new applications," added Avron.