LEDs are projected to grow more than six-fold to nearly $100 billion and power conversion electronics to $15 billion over the next decade as the desire for energy efficiency drives adoption, says Lux Research. While the market opportunity is clear, the winning positions are still very much up for grabs, so making wise partnership and investment choices is critical.
"A slew of developers are working on innovative materials and system architectures, targeting the primary challenges of cost reduction and manufacturability," said Pallavi Madakasira, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, "Winning the Jump Ball: Sorting Winners from Losers in LEDs and Power Electronics." "Many leading lights of the electronics industry are strong in these markets, but start-ups with novel technologies are looking to grab a share for themselves.
Lux Research positioned the key developers of LEDs and power electronics materials, devices, and systems on the Lux Innovation Grid based on their Technical Value and Business Execution - companies that are strong on both axes reach the "Dominant" quadrant. They also assessed each company's maturity, and provided an overall Lux Take. Among their findings:
- SiC players are dominant in power electronics. The "Dominant" power electronics players wager mostly on SiC. Cree is a fully vertically integrated SiC device manufacturer, while other top leaders are experienced players from silicon power electronics like Infineon, Rohm Semiconductor and ST Microelectronics.
- Cree, II-VI Wide Bandgap lead materials space. Cree is also "Dominant" in materials, based on its development of SiC substrates. The only other company with a "dominant" rank is II-VI Wide Bandgap Group, an SiC wafer supplier with established relationships with power electronics and RF device manufacturers.
- Six vie for dominance in LED. Cree is the leader in LEDs as well, the only firm that has successfully commercialized SiC-substrate-based LEDs at scale. Among other "Dominant" firms, Nichia holds the most IP, while Samsung, Philips, and Osram Opto Semiconductors have all demonstrated GaN-on-silicon LEDs. GE Lighting does not have its own chip technology but its integration further down the value chain and its recent acquisition of fixture manufacturer Albeo make it a force to reckon with.
The report, titled "Winning the Jump Ball: Sorting Winners from Losers in LEDs and Power Electronics," is part of the Lux Research Energy Electronics Intelligence service.