The Growing Penetration of GaN on Silicon Technology
The immense potential of GaN on silicon technology necessitated a detailed analysis, and Transparency Market Research (TMR), in its recent report, offers a 360 degree view of this expanding landscape. The insights presented in this report will arm decision-makers with strategic insights and up-to-date information that can induce a better appreciation and understanding of this market.
Gallium nitride has huge potential over silicon, as it is capable of delivering 70% power efficiency along with higher scalability at high frequencies. Gallium nitride is likely to take over silicon technology due to its wider band gap that is capable of sustaining higher voltage.
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GaN on Silicon Technology Market: Beyond the Silicon Valley
For decades, silicon has remained integral to the technology industry. It has been a key component in the development of electronic devices, including transistors, semiconductors, integrated circuits, and printed circuit boards. However, over the years, lack of innovation has meant that demand has remained limited to a handful of industries. GaN has emerged as a feasible solution, offering end-users higher energy-efficiency and greater temperature resistance.
With such changes and developments, the adoption of GaN on silicon technology is expected to augment at a significant rate. According to our analysis, the global GaN on silicon technology market is likely to grow at 19% CAGR through 2027.
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Automotive industry will continue to be at the forefront of adoption, however, it will be the growing penetration in aerospace & defense, and military that will create new avenues of growth. This growth is attributed to the increasing application of GaN on silicon technology in various end-use industries. This is not to say that the importance of automotive industry in this market will be relegated—as the industry goes through a transformation of its own with innovation in electric vehicles and connected cars creating opportunities and challenges—the GaN on silicon technology vendors will do themselves a lot of good by keeping up the pace of innovation. With global revenues set to reach nearly US$ 20 Mn by the end of 2019, the stakeholders in the GaN on silicon technology market will be looking to diversify into new sectors to leverage the emerging opportunities.
GaN on Silicon Technology Landscape: The Impact of Internet-Of-Things (IoT)
The market continues to witness innovation and evolution at every level. Vendors are focusing on improving their existing product portfolios in order to meet the needs of an evolving consumer base. Manufacturers are now focusing on the 200 mm wafer size to expand applications in power conversion applications. Sensing the evolving opportunities, especially in power cobersion applications, companies have started to focus on gaining first-mover advantage: Leti and STMicroelectronics are engaged in advancing power GaN-on-Si diode and transistor architecture. Depending upon the results obtained through the IRT Nanoelec program, working will be transferred to Leti’s 200 mm research and development line, and it is expected to be operational by 2023.
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Plessey, another prominent player in the market, has optimized the production of LEDs based on GaN on silicon technology. The company is focusing on offering better thermal performance that helps in providing a high voltage option through the multi on-chip junction. Plessey is also working on leveraging its unique light emission in LEDs. Additionally, they are focusing on a light emitting surface that requires a simple and low-cost optical system.
Apart from these company-level innovations, ongoing trends are also influencing the growth of the global GaN on silicon technology market. Significant rise in the demand for tablets, smart watches, smartphones, and other electronic devices has augmented adoption of this technology.
Penetration Growing in Developing Countries
Developing regions are likely to offer high growth opportunity for stakeholders in the GaN-on-silicon technology market. In many cost-sensitive developing countries, operational efficiency continues to be a key influencer—as GaN-based power devices offer enhanced performance, adoption has seen a surge in the recent years. Growth has been especially noticeable in Asia Pacific, where a broader push for increasing manufacturing output necessitated adoption of efficient technologies and products. However, it is pertinent to note that in terms of total revenue generation, it is the developed economies in North America and Europe that hold sway over the market.
Europe, on the other hand, is likely to experience relatively slower growth in the GaN on silicon technology market. Companies such as STMicroelectronics and IBM are investing extensively in the semiconductor industry in Europe. This has resulted in the increased use of silicon wafers, which will trigger competition in industries using GaN on silicon technology.
It is interesting to know that, the GaN silicon technology market shows varied levels of consolidation and fragmentation. The top five leading players in the market hold nearly 50% share. These players hold significant sway in the GaN on silicon technology market, and are usually at the forefront of driving innovation and implementation.
Players in this market are focusing on consolidating their position in regions where skilled labor is available at affordable costs. The intention of producing good quality products at low costs is inducing outsourcing of manufacturing capabilities to developing countries. According to the report’s analysis, prominent players are focusing on innovation and improvement to establish themselves for a long-term in the market.
The Analyst Viewpoint
The authors of the report maintain a bullish outlook on the GaN on silicon technology market. Considering the diversifying applications of GaN on silicon technology, it is highly likely that its adoption will witness a steady increase over the course of the forecast period. Companies that are proactive, rather than reactive, and have a higher risk-appetite, can gain first-mover advantage, especially in industries and regions, where this technology is yet to be fully explored. Although developing countries do offer potential growth opportunities, it will be strategically unsound to completely rely on these markets in lieu of established markets of the US and EU5. The authors of the report opine that considering the market is likely to grow at nearly 19% CAGR through 2027, significant opportunities are likely to emerge, even for small-scale players. Considering the fact that the market is an amalgam of both technology and manufacturing, a symbiotic balance between cost and innovation needs to be maintained.
GaN on Silicon Technology: Definition/Overview
- Gallium nitride (GaN)-on-sapphire is an existing technology used for LED manufacturing. It is expected to be replaced by Gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon technology in the near future.
- Silicon is used as an alternative for sapphire to reduce the cost of the end-product. Also, there exists the need for the adoption of the GaN on silicon technology for power Gallium nitride (GaN) devices such a s AC-to-DC converters and DC-to-AC converters.
- Gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon technology offers cost ratio and an unmatched performance for the next generation of power electronic devices.
- Major applications of GaN on silicon technology devices are in defense and aerospace, automotive, power distribution systems, and information communication technology, among others.
- Compared to silicon (Si) and gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride is a robust technology, and possesses better performance characteristics, which has enabled the implementation of GaN on silicon technology on a wide basis of high frequency RF devices and LEDs.
- Moreover, inverters for home appliances, power converter circuits, and mobile devices are among other the application areas where Gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon technology are used.
Global GaN on Silicon Technology Market: Regional Overview
- North America led the GaN on silicon technology market, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. Asia Pacific is estimated to be the fastest-growing GaN on silicon technology market.
- Asia Pacific and Europe are emerging regions in the GaN on silicon technology market, offering ample and lucrative opportunities for manufacturers on a long-term basis.
Global GaN on Silicon Technology Market: Trends
- GaN on silicon technology is currently undergoing a developmental stage. Still, there are some uncertainties regarding its use for the mass production of any power device. Currently, this technology is mostly used in the manufacture of LEDs. In later stages, it can be widely used for a majority of power devices.
Global GaN on Silicon Technology Market: Drivers, Opportunities, and Restraints
- Increasing usage of consumer electronics owing to the increasing trend of digitalization is the major factor anticipated to increase the demand for GaN on silicon at an exponential rate during the forecast period.
- The demand for LEDs in consumer electronic products such as televisions, laptops, smartphones and gaming devices is rising, which is expected to provide new growth opportunities for the GaN on silicon technology market.
- Since semiconductors are an integral component of electronic and computing products, the booming consumer electronics industry and the rising demand for affordable mobile devices are driving the GaN on silicon technology market.
- Power electronic applications such as AC-to-DC or DC-to-AC conversion are always associated with substantial energy losses that increase with a rise in the power and operating frequencies.
- Thus, the GaN on silicon technology is emerging as a substitute for the older, silicon-based technology for power electronic applications. However, it remains at an early stage, and represents just a small portion of the power electronics industry.
- Thus, there exists the need for the adoption of the GaN on silicon technology for use in power GaN devices. However, high procurement cost and processing complexity are major challenges in the commercialization of GaN-based devices.
- Gallium nitride (GaN) is considered as a next-generation power semiconductor. With a higher breakdown strength, higher switching speed, higher thermal conductivity, and lower on-resistance, power devices based on GaN significantly outperform Si-based power chips.
- Currently, the GaN on silicon technology has reached a high level of maturity, which explores the next-generation GaN on silicon technology with a higher level of integration (GaN-IC) and performance.
Global GaN on Silicon Technology Market: Key Market Segments
The global GaN on silicon technology market has been segmented based on wafer size, end user, and region.
- Wafer Size:
- In terms of wafer size, the market has been classified into 50 mm, 100 mm, 150 mm, and 200 mm. The 200 mm segment dominated the GaN on silicon technology market in 2018, due to a rise in the investment in GaN on silicon technology devices with 200 mm wafer size.
- End Use:
- In terms of end user, the GaN on silicon technology market has been divided into consumer electronics, IT & telecommunication, automotive, aerospace & defense, and others. Extensive research was conducted over the last decade to utilize gallium nitride for semiconductor power devices and electronic systems.
- In terms of region, the global GaN on silicon technology market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.
Global GaN on Silicon Technology Market: Competition Landscape
- Attracted by the anticipated growth of the global GaN on silicon technology market and underlying latent demand, several players are expanding their businesses through strategic mergers and acquisitions, as well as partnerships. Some of the prominent players operating in the global GaN on silicon technology market are NXP Semiconductor, GaN Systems, Panasonic Corporation, Fujitsu Semiconductor, Transphorm Inc., Texas Instruments, Qorvo, Inc., OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, and Cree, Inc.
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