Analysis of the “chaos” in the current domestic IGBT market

According to industry insiders, the normal production cycle of IGBT chips is basically 7-8 weeks, and 52 weeks is almost a year. Therefore, this may be because the IGBT chip manufacturer is really out of stock, or it may be deliberately dragging it. The IGBT chip manufacturer just wants to The long delivery time keeps the buyer from getting the goods, because the market conditions may have changed a year later, so most manufacturers simply wait less than a year.

It is difficult to determine whether a shortage is true or not, but the current “chaos” in the domestic IGBT market is worthy of attention.

Buying dies from foreign manufacturers fails to turn to domestic

According to the author’s understanding, for a long time, many domestic manufacturers claiming to design IGBTs by themselves have bought dies from other companies, then packaged them and sold them with their own logos, and this phenomenon has a tendency to expand.

According to industry insiders, some domestic manufacturers of IGBT modules are looking for foreign manufacturers such as Infineon and ABB to buy their chips, but this is not easy because these manufacturers are not willing to sell their own chips.

Take Infineon as an example. Not everyone can buy the die of this manufacturer, because Infineon is an IDM manufacturer that manufactures everything from chips to modules. After completion, the finished products are also sold in the domestic market. The products of both parties are on the market. There is a competitive relationship, so only a small number of partners can get a small amount of Infineon’s die, and when it is out of stock, Infineon may not ship to these manufacturers at all, or adopt various methods such as price increase and extension of delivery. The method does not deliver.

When foreign IGBT chip manufacturers are not shipping, domestic IGBT module manufacturers begin to look for domestic IGBT chip manufacturers to get the goods.

However, according to industry insiders, there are not a few domestic manufacturers that can truly make IGBT chips. After making IGBT chips, some manufacturers will find module packaging factories to seal them into modules, brand them with their own brands, and sell them, or they may sell some. The chip is given to the module packaging factory. However, this mainly depends on the manufacturer’s positioning, whether you want to mainly sell chips or sell modules under your own brand.

Industry insiders further elaborated that because after selling the chips, the brand is not their own, so the manufacturers in the industry have basically not explicitly announced to the public that they are going to sell dies, and they generally want to be their own brands. But it may also be sold to its own partners in private. The brand is the brand of the module manufacturer, and the chip is another chip. The industry defaults.

In response to this phenomenon, some people in the industry do not agree, thinking that it will lose the research and development capabilities of domestic IGBT manufacturers; some people in the industry say that this business model is not wrong in itself, but most manufacturers in the industry are pursuing this. The cake is basically not helpful to the development of the domestic IGBT industry.

Another industry insider said that at present, many domestic IGBT manufacturers are really doing better, basically starting from packaging, relying on packaging to gain a firm foothold in the market, and gradually develop chips one by one.

The so-called existence is reasonable. It is not wrong to use other IGBT chips to make IGBT modules. However, to realize the full domestic production of IGBT modules, it is necessary to complete the import substitution of IGBT modules and IGBT chips.

What is the difficulty of making IGBT?

According to the data, IGBT, as a new type of power Electronic device, is the most representative product of the third revolution of power Electronic technology recognized internationally, and is the core component in the field of industrial control and automation. IGBT is known as the “CPU” in the power electronics industry and is widely used in motor energy saving, rail transit, smart grid, aerospace, household appliances, automotive electronics, new energy power generation, new energy vehicles and other fields.

In 2018, the global IGBT market scale was about 5.836 billion U.S. dollars, while the domestic IGBT market was about 16.19 billion yuan, accounting for nearly half of the market.

In addition, national policies have also given great support to the IGBT industry. However, the development of the domestic IGBT industry in recent years has been unsatisfactory. Currently, 95% of the IGBT industry is monopolized by foreign companies.

Investigating the reasons, industry insiders stated that first of all, there are currently very few domestic R&D and technical personnel with relevant practices and rich experience. It will cost a new enterprise to master the design and manufacturing process of IGBT chips or modules and realize mass production. Longer time to cultivate talents, study and explore, run-in and technology accumulation.

Secondly, domestic IGBT chip manufacturers are limited by Fab factories. The weak technological foundation and old equipment have caused domestic IGBT chips to fail to meet the requirements in all aspects. The production and testing equipment required for IGBT basically needs to be imported, not only the equipment cost is high, but also Really good equipment will not be sold. For example, in Infineon’s factories, many equipment are specially developed for them, and domestic fab factories cannot buy them.

In addition, the IGBT industry is also a capital-intensive industry. In addition to equipment costs, product development and market development take a long time. Even if new entrants in the industry produce IGBT products, customers often have to take a long time to test and approve it. New brands, so in addition to technical issues, time costs and strong reserve funds are also issues that IGBT chip manufacturers need to consider.

The low-end market has a high degree of localization, and foreign manufacturers have withdrawn

According to industry insiders, there are currently two main types of domestic manufacturers that can make IGBT chips. One is IDM factories such as Silan Micro, China Resources Micro, Macro Microelectronics, BYD, and CRRC Times (mainly self-produced and self-sold). Class manufacturers have fab factories, and they can do everything from chips to modules. The other type is Shanghai Luxin, Zhongke Junxin, Jiaxing Star and other chip design companies, which generally produce in fab factories such as Huahonghongli and Advanced semiconductor.

Industry insiders further pointed out that in recent years, power semiconductor manufacturers led by China Microelectronics and Yangjie Technology have also begun to make IGBT chips. However, the threshold of IGBT chips is relatively high, so their products often have some problems. Really make IGBT chips. It will take time to get the customer’s approval.

Under the general trend of energy saving and emission reduction, in recent years, the market scale of products with obvious energy-saving effects such as industrial control and frequency conversion white goods has been expanding, and industrial control and frequency conversion white goods are the main application areas of IGBT modules.

In addition, IGBT modules play a vital role in the field of new energy vehicles, and are the core components of new energy vehicle motor controllers, on-board air conditioners, charging piles and other equipment.

According to data, pure electric vehicles generally require 500 IGBT modules, and their cost accounts for 40-50% of the cost of the entire controller and 10% of the cost of new energy vehicles.

Therefore, driven by markets such as industrial control, variable frequency white goods, and new energy vehicles, the market demand for IGBTs has grown rapidly, which is also the main reason for the aforementioned shortage and extended delivery.

According to industry insiders, with the joint efforts of domestic manufacturers, the domestic low-end markets such as white goods, inverters, Inverter power supplies, and industrial controls have gradually completed localized substitution. Due to the decline in profits, Infineon Waiting for foreign manufacturers to have withdrawn from the low-end market.

However, there are no domestic IGBT chip manufacturers in areas with very high requirements such as automotive electronics, new energy, photovoltaic inverters, and power grids. Take new energy vehicles as an example. According to industry insiders, only Infineon and very few foreign brands of IGBT chips in the world can pass vehicle-level certification, and domestic IGBT chip manufacturers are struggling with vehicle-level certification.

It is worth mentioning that recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission issued an opinion on the industrialization of IGBTs, stating that the next step will continue to promote the development of domestic industrial semiconductor materials, chips, devices and IGBT module industries. Driven by national policies and huge market demand, my country’s IGBT manufacturers have taken the lead in completing breakthroughs in the fields of industrial control and variable frequency white goods. It is believed that in the near future, my country’s IGBT industry can gradually realize domestic substitution in various fields such as power grids and automotive electronics.

IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor), insulated gate bipolar transistor, is a composite fully controlled voltage-driven power semiconductor device composed of BJT (bipolar transistor) and MOS (insulated gate field effect transistor), with high frequency , High voltage, high current, easy to switch and other excellent performance, it is hailed as the “CPU” of power converter devices in the industry.

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