The primary key to electrification is the battery, and BMS IC, as the core semiconductor device of the battery, continues to have strong demand in the era of electrification, and has become a popular track for the cross-border layout of major chip manufacturers. With the rapid development of electrification technologies in the fields of industrial control, energy storage, electric vehicles, and wearable devices, related BMS ICs have also ushered in a period of rapid iteration.
Based on the forward-looking views of BMS IC market changes, new technologies, and new products in 2022, this article makes a simple prediction of the market and technology development trends of the BMS IC industry in 2023.
1. Chinese manufacturers layout has changed from single type of BMS IC to multiple types
Due to the complexity of the battery BMS system, a variety of BMS ICs have been derived, which are responsible for various subdivisions of the battery management system. At present, the types of BMS ICs on the market are mainly divided into battery protection chips, battery metering chips, charging management chips, analog front-end AFE battery sampling chips, and battery balancing chips.
However, in the past, most local Chinese manufacturers deployed a single type of BMS IC, and there were very few manufacturers that simultaneously deployed and realized mass production of three types of BMS ICs. In 2022, Chinese manufacturers will shift from a single type of BMS IC to multiple types, which also reflects the rapid improvement of Chinese manufacturers' technical level in the BMS IC field.
As we all know, BMS IC has a high technical threshold, the algorithm of battery power state and health state is difficult, high-precision low-noise sampling circuit, high-voltage technology and other chip design requirements are high, expanding from a single type to multiple types of BMS IC requires enterprises to master more technologies.
At present, most Chinese manufacturers are crowded on the track of battery protection chips and charge management chips. However, there are very few manufacturers of battery metering chips, battery sampling chips, and battery balancing chips. In the future, these three types of BMS ICs will have unlimited opportunities, and Chinese manufacturers may actively expand their layout in this area.
2. Energy storage BMS IC has become a new growth point in the market
BMS ICs are widely used in consumer electronics, energy storage, automobiles, and industrial control fields. In 2022, the demand in the consumer electronics field will be weak. Under the sluggish demand for consumer electronics, the demand for BMS ICs in the field of energy storage applications has increased significantly. According to the data, the energy storage BMS IC market size is expected to grow by 61.79% year-on-year in 2023, and the compound annual growth rate will reach 72.34% in the next five years.
In addition, professionals said that the demand for BMS ICs in the energy storage market in the future may exceed the estimated range. The BMS ICs involved in the top 10 energy storage lithium battery companies field mainly include battery balancing chips, battery metering chips, and battery monitoring chips. Assuming that the parameter of each battery cluster is 48V/280Ah, a 16S AFE chip is correspondingly required.
All energy storage power stations adopt an active balancing strategy, and each battery cluster requires 16 active balancing chips. Driven by strong market demand, it is expected that in 2023, the shipments of companies that can mass-produce battery balancing chips and battery metering chips in the field of energy storage applications will increase significantly.
The current battery balancing chips, battery metering chips, and battery monitoring chips of Chinese manufacturers are mostly used in smartphones, tablet computers, and TWS earphones. However, there are still very few Chinese manufacturers of BMS IC energy production in the field of energy storage. In 2023, the large-scale start-up of energy storage BMS IC may occur more in enterprises in other countries.
3. The integration trend of balance chip and protection chip is obvious
The battery protection chip is responsible for monitoring abnormal conditions such as overvoltage, overcurrent, discharge overcurrent, charging overcurrent, overheating and other abnormal conditions in the battery to avoid irreversible damage to the battery. The battery balancing chip is responsible for maintaining a uniform and balanced voltage and power of each battery, so as to avoid the difference between more and less power in multiple strings of batteries.
At present, Chinese manufacturers have actively integrated the independent balancing function of the battery balancing chip in the past into the battery protection chip to form a multi-core, multi-functional integrated BMS battery management chip product. In 2023, it is expected that more companies will integrate the equalization function into battery protection chip products. This is the result of the improvement of Chinese manufacturers' manufacturing technology and higher integration.
4. BMS IC high-precision improvement to speed up
In recent years, with the rapid development of technologies in the fields of downstream communication, energy storage, industrial control, and new energy vehicles, the performance requirements for BMS IC products have been continuously improved, which has pushed BMS ICs to continue to develop in the direction of high precision. The higher the accuracy of the BMS IC, the more guaranteed the safety and life of the batteries, including lifepo4 battery, ternary lithium and other batteries.
Low power consumption is the key to maximizing battery runtime. In terms of accuracy, the voltage sampling accuracy used to be ±50mV. In 2022, most Chinese manufacturers' BMS IC voltage sampling accuracy has been improved to ±20mV, and some Chinese manufacturers have even reached the national ±10mV. For example, the KP620x0 series BMS IC released by Kiwi for lithium battery energy storage, power supply, and electric tool applications has achieved a voltage sampling accuracy of 10mV.
Current sampling accuracy, most of the current Chinese manufacturers have improved from ±1% in the past to 0.5%. Judging from the new products released in 2022, the highest current sampling accuracy of BMS battery management chips of Cmsemicon, CellWise, SGMICRO, Lowpower Semiconductor, and Southchip has reached the level of 0.5%. In 2023, Chinese BMS IC manufacturers are expected to make further breakthroughs in terms of precision.