A Game Changer in the IGBT Power Switch Market

Key Points

  • Ideal Power Inc. is an innovative and proprietary semiconductor power switch company currently focused exclusively on the development and commercialization of its patented B-TRAN™ power switch technology.
  • Ideal Power has obtained a broad patent estate for B-TRAN™ with 58 patents issued and 26 pending in the US, Europe, China, and other countries.
  • B-TRAN™ switches can minimize conduction and switching losses, making current and future control systems more efficient and lightweight.
  • Initial end-use markets for the technology include EVs/EV charging, data center UPS, renewables, energy storage, and solid-state circuit breakers.
  • Development is progressing well with a pending engineering prototype sampling program expected in 2021 with initial commercial sales expected in 2022. Necessary funding for the same is in place as a result of the $21.2M public offering in February 2021. 
  • Ideal Power has partnered with Diversified Technology Inc. (DTI) (demonstrating B-TRAN™-enabled, high-efficiency DC circuit breakers for ship electrification under the NAVSEA program), Teledyne (for wafer fabrication), and the University of Texas Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) (for device drivers and packaging).

Our Insights

The Opportunities

With development and commercialization progressing, Ideal Power is well-placed to capture a slice of the large and growing $6.0 billion IGBT power switches market. Owing to their superior performance and efficiency, bi-directionality, and fewer thermal management requirements, B-TRAN™ power switches may be able to replace IGBTs in many applications. As the primary end markets such as EVs, renewables, and data center UPS grow, B-TRAN™ could be looking at expanded market opportunities. Currently there is no high-efficiency bi-directional design available in the market, which makes potential competitors also potential licensees for B-TRAN™ technology, according to the company.

The Obstacles

The company has a history of operating losses and an accumulated deficit of $75 million as of December 2020. If the focus on B-TRAN™ development and commercialization is delayed or unsuccessful, the company’s business operations will be adversely affected. The company’s results will be materially affected if its semiconductor fabricator partners are unable to successfully and cost-effectively develop and implement new process steps required for bi-directional semiconductor device production at the prototype stage or at scale or if required time to evaluate, redesign, test, and certify is longer than expected. Expected competitors are expected to include well-established incumbent power semiconductor device suppliers.