Toshiba Promises both SiC and GaN Power Devices

August 27, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Toshiba Corp. outlined its strategy for discrete products that aims for stable business expansion by providing discrete devices in growth markets. Toshiba sees the business environment changing, and markets for smartphone, tablet PC, wireless base stations and data centers expanding, automobile are becoming more intelligent, new energy sources, such as wind power, are expanding, primarily in emerging countries, and energy efficiency is emphasized more than ever in industry.

MOSFETs are a focus product, and Toshiba aims to support customers by exerting comprehensive strengths in respect of performance, quality and supply capacity to meet industrial market in China, which is expected to see market expansion, and market of strong Japanese automotive manufacturers. The company has already won orders of next-generation automotive products. It will continue to advance the capacity of the 200mm line in Kaga Toshiba Electronics and to provide solutions to customers.

Furthermore, as next-generation products using new materials responding diverse market needs, Toshiba will launch up SiC devices for high-voltage and high-frequency field, GaN power devices for super-high-frequency applications, and will apply GaN on Si technology for white LEDs. The company will also expand its strategic focus to include collaboration with the in-house system companies.

Small-signal and OPTO devices, the foundation products of the business, have seen strong demand since last year. Toshiba Semiconductor (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (TST), which moved location after the Thai floods, is operating at full capacity. Toshiba’s photo couplers, OPTO devices, have held the world No.1 share for four consecutive years. The company aims for further productivity improvements from expanding TST, expanding the product line-up in high value-added areas, mainly in the industrial market, and to expand business by responding to market changes and expansions.

In recent years, more applications have required a high-voltage, high-current drive or wireless communication function, as well as high level functions and high speed, all at the same time. Toshiba will develop solutions that shorten development times and cut total costs, based on early commercialization of strong motor control technologies (InPAC, vector engine, sine wave, etc.), and also offer combinations of microcomputers, analog and discrete products that meet market requirements in a proper and speedy way. Examples include power control ICs for wireless power supply, lens control motor ICs for single-lens reflex cameras, ICs for smart home appliances such as refrigerators and analog function embedded microcomputers for healthcare equipment.

The wireless power supply market is expected to expand, pulled by smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, automotive products, cordless tools. Toshiba will seek to maintain superiority in thermal properties (high efficiency and low power consumption) with an original process adopting cutting-edge analog process (0.13 μm), launch new standard (PMA, A4WP) products to the market at an early stage, and aim for a 20% market share in 2016 by introducing 15W-class products.

In addition, the company will aim to increase sales by specializing in three fields, home appliances, axial flow and industry, and by further expanding our general purpose line-up (1.5 times more products in 2016 than in 2013). In the home appliances field, the IC group will expand its collaborative efforts with the discretes group to increase sales of SiP products to overseas manufacturers in addition to Japan, where Toshiba has already won high market shares, and develop and expand new products using new sine wave technology (InPAC) and SiP 600V products.

In the axial flow field, Toshiba has entered the market for servers, refrigerators and small fans, taking advantage of the superiority of CD0.13μm process. The company will seek to expand sales in the single-phase driver market through pseudo sine wave current drive technology. And will aim for the No.1 share in the 3-phase driver market. In the industrial field, Toshiba will expand market share by developing high value added, low cost motor drivers for unipolar motors with cutting edge BiCD0.13μm+80V analog process.

Finally, Toshiba will look beyond the market trend and develop and expand sales of differentiated products centering on smart meters. And the company will also enter into the PV micro inverter market in Japan and the United States.