Lux Research puts Infineon at the lead in the power electronics industry on innovation and execution
To assess “innovation,” Lux analyzed R&D spending and the last five years of patent portfolios, innovation-impacting acquisitions, divestments and partnerships, and overall new product portfolio. To assess “business execution,” Lux looked at factors including profitability, liquidity, solvency and acquisitions.
Infineon is a clear winner on both metrics, having consistently maintained its market share (on a revenue basis) despite other companies clamoring to compete with it across all markets. In terms of technology innovation, the company has invested and successfully released products not only in silicon—1200 V and 1700 V IGBT modules, 1700 V integrated power modules, 600 V CoolMOS, and 650 V trenchtop IGBTs for automotive applications—but also in new flavors of materials, including SiC and GaN. NXP, Microsemi, and Rohm follow behind Infineon. NXP, for example, scored lower on its patents and product releases (it has released only two new power electronics products in the last few years), bringing its overall innovation score down. Without any major acquisition or a breakthrough product, none of these companies is likely to offer Infineon tough competition in the near future.—Lux Research
Lux placed Renesas, ON Semiconductor and Panasonic at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Renesas, for example, scored poorly on both business and technology-related acquisitions and partnerships as well as new product releases. While Renesas has a core strength in microcontrollers for the automotive industry, it lacks strength in any other product segment. ON Semiconductor has some ongoing work in GaN with Transphorm to develop power supplies, although it has no concrete strategy to execute on this. Panasonic falls to the bottom on this grid given its weak scores across the board. The company acquired Sanyo in 2010, but that did not give Panasonic the strength it needed in power electronics. The company has a very narrow portfolio of products, which it has failed to expand on or offer any real technology differentiation. Fairchild, too, has barely managed to stay alive; without drastic measures, it could be wiped out entirely.—Lux Research