Editor’s note:With the continuous deepening of the digitization, intelligence, and energy conservation and environmental protection of industrial infrastructure, the new demands of the industrial application market bring more opportunities and challenges to semiconductor products. With a wide range of product portfolios, STMicroelectronics is relying on its market position in industrial embedded processing products, focusing on increasing the scale of industrial applications of analog and sensing technology products, and is committed to achieving a leading position in the fields of industrial power energy, motor control and automation status. In order to fully understand ST’s industrial market development strategy and related technical products, this reporter interviewed Mr. Mu Jieli, vice president of regional marketing and application of ST’s Asia Pacific Power Discrete Devices and Analog Products Division.
Aiming at the fast-growing industrial application market
According to data from the market research organization IHS Markit, between 2018 and 2021, the industrial market, including production process automation, power and energy, medical equipment, security video surveillance, and building home control, has a compound growth rate of up to 6%. The increase rate in this segment of security video surveillance has reached 19%.
Faced with such a rapidly developing industrial market, the world’s major semiconductor suppliers have focused their attention, hoping to expand their market share in this field through innovative technologies and products.
Mr. Mu Jieli, vice president of regional marketing and applications of STMicroelectronics’ Power Discrete Devices and Analog Products Division in Asia Pacific, said that STMicroelectronics will strengthen and expand its leading position in the industrial market from multiple levels. On the one hand, it will continue to consolidate in the industrial embedded The market position of processing and MCU and CPU products, on the other hand, improves the market position in the field of simulation and sensing, and expands the leading position in the industrial power and energy management market by strengthening the product portfolio.
Prior to this, many of STMicroelectronics’ semiconductor products have achieved very good market share in the industrial market.
Among them, the sales of low-voltage motor drive chips exceeded 1 billion, accounting for 12% of the market; the shipment of smart meter chips exceeded 120 million, accounting for 38% of the market; the sales of factory automation smart power switch drive pie slices exceeded 10 100 million pieces, occupying 12% of the market share.
In addition, general-purpose MCUs (excluding automobiles), security MCUs and EEPROMs, analog integrated circuits and other products have all squeezed into the ranks of the world’s leading suppliers.
Mu Jieli emphasized that STMicroelectronics’ strategic goal is to become a leader in the industrial market.
As a member of the management in the Asia-Pacific region, Mu Jieli said that the Asian industrial market strategy mainly focuses on three application areas, namely automation, power and energy, and motor control, with a compound growth rate of more than 11%.
SiC and GaN products have become a new force in expanding the power and energy markets
Over the years, based on mature innovative technologies and power management experience, STMicroelectronics has also made gratifying gains in the development of third-generation semiconductor products such as SiC and GaN, such as SiC-based MOSFETs and GaN-based diode products. , Have already achieved mass production, ready to be applied to DC charging and industrial power management in large quantities.
According to Mu Jieli, STMicroelectronics’ Power and Energy Technology Innovation Center has launched two power management solutions for new applications, namely 15 kW bidirectional PFC and 65 W Type-C mobile phones and PD chargers.
The 15kW bidirectional PFC uses SiC power MOSFETs, STM32G4 digital controllers and SiC diodes. Compared with the solutions developed using IGBTs, ST’s SiC products can increase energy efficiency by 0.5%. It seems that this is a small number, but in fact, when the energy efficiency is close to 100%, it is not so easy to increase 0.5%, so this is a very remarkable energy-saving improvement program.
In this excellent solution, SiC power MOSFETs and SiC diodes are the protagonists, while STM32G4 digital controllers, STGAP magnetically isolated gate drivers, GaN HEMTs, VIPer converters and high-temperature thyristors have also played a big role. ST The combination of these excellent semiconductor products of semiconductor companies makes this circuit board for DC charging stations save users 150 dollars.
Mujieli emphasized that a 15kW bidirectional PFC component-level integrated solution is currently a unique and excellent solution in the market.
The 65 W Type-C mobile phone and PD charger solution is the second innovative solution launched by the Power and Energy Technology Innovation Center of STMicroelectronics.
According to Mu Jieli, 65 W Type-C mobile phones and PD chargers are more innovative from the perspective of user experience. 65 W Type-C™ is innovative for two reasons.
First, it enables GaN FET SiP. Secondly, use SiP as the driver of the controller and the overall solution. This product focuses on the high-end mobile phone charger market.
Therefore, when introducing charging products to customers, they are very interested in this solution, which can achieve higher energy efficiency, which can reach 93%-94% depending on the working conditions.
ST can design the shape of the mobile phone according to any type-C USB adapter, and provide the power required by the mobile phone to optimize the battery charging performance. The real shock of this solution is that it can charge ordinary mobile phones on the market, and it takes less than 30 minutes to fully charge, which means that the mobile phone can be fully charged within 30 minutes.
It can be seen that leading SiC and GaN technologies and products, superimposed on advanced packaging capabilities and digital control technology, are becoming STMicroelectronics’ competitive weapon in the power energy market.
Home Power Efficiency Improvement Policy Brings New Opportunities to Motor Control Technology
Relying on a wide range of product portfolios and strong technical reserves, STMicroelectronics continues to expand its presence in the field of motor control, and China’s energy efficiency improvement policies in the field of home appliances are opening up greater market space for it.
ST’s energy-efficient motor control solutions support various motors from stepper motors, DC motors to BLDC. In terms of digital control and analog control, there are system-level packaging and embedded intelligent solutions, with a power density of up to 500W/cm2. Special electrical isolation drive technology protects personal safety. From very low power to very high power, from digital controllers to analog controllers, from internal embedded switching MOSFETs, to extended MOSFETs using IPM, a rich product portfolio and two outstanding technologies: STSPIN and STDRIVE.
Mu Jieli said that STMicroelectronics’ product portfolio has strong advantages. There are seven architectures to support the same solution, which can give customers more flexible solutions when adapting to the new energy efficiency policy.
For example, for a 1.5kW to 2kW air conditioning control solution, there are 4 different architectures to choose from.
The first architecture is a completely discrete solution that allows the customer to design the board layout in the way he likes, which is a better and convenient method.
The second one uses the ACEPACK module, which can handle high power with 3 modules, which allows us to provide higher power through a compact solution.
Third, if space is limited, you can also use a dual-module MOSFET solution, using STM32F3 or G4 with SLLIMM IPM series smart power modules.
Fourth, integrate the drive circuit and the discrete solution on the periphery of the STM32 core, which is actually a solution optimized for applications with a smaller space.
Such a flexible architecture choice allows different customers to choose the best energy efficiency improvement plan that suits them.
As we all know, China will enforce extremely strict new energy efficiency standards (A+) for air-conditioning systems from July 1, 2020. This means that all products on sale must use new standard solutions, and all old air-conditioning systems need to replace related components within a certain period of time, such as inverters or inverter-side circuits.
Mu Jieli believes that ST’s solutions can perfectly meet this demand. The cost of replacing traditional semiconductor solutions with new energy-efficient solutions is between a few dollars and ten dollars, which means the cost of each solution. It’s about 10 to 12 dollars. STMicroelectronics provides firmware updates and cube SDK development tools through the user interface, supports compressor motor customization, and provides all STM32, power modules, discrete and analog devices, and circuit boards. This is a very rich product portfolio.
Similarly, in the traditional refrigerator market, energy efficiency standards have been raised to above Class A, which means ST power devices, STSPIN, and STM32 from STMicroelectronics can begin to make a big splash.
After the editor: The world-class semiconductor companies have more than 10 years of technical route planning. I remember that a few years ago when the industry was still discussing when Moore’s Law would fail, STMicroelectronics had already begun to deploy SiC and GaN technology research. . Although SiC and GaN technologies have been in the investment stage for more than 10 years, the explosion of DC charging piles and industrial energy-saving markets has made the companies that invested in this area once again stand at the forefront of the industry.