A research study on GaN semiconductors market and industry gives a detailed overview of the global GaN semiconductor market in the present scenario.
Gallium Nitride is an upcoming alternate material to pure silicon in the field of semiconductors and electronics. During the extensive research carried out in search of an alternate semiconductor material in the previous century, several advanced features of gallium nitride proved useful for semiconductors such as high-brightness emissions and intensity when used in opto-semiconductors, high power efficiency, superior high frequency handling capacity, and flexibility to be used alongside various substrates such as Si, sapphire, SiC were discovered. Extensive research studies took place in the past decade to utilize gallium nitride for semiconductors devices and electronic systems in two major segments – power-semiconductors and opto-semiconductors.
The briefing gives an overview of the total Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors market, its drivers, restraints and opportunities, overall statistics, forecasts, different types of segmentation done, value and supply chains and the complete competitive landscape.
The global Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductor industry’s value chain has grown to a vast network of players involved in various segments. There have been tremendous changes in the landscape of the value chain with several developments in segments such as raw material suppliers, EDA & design tool vendors, wafer manufacturers, wafer equipment vendors, foundry models, fabless players, fab facilities, IDMs, ODMs, OEMs, ATP players, and so on. The wafer manufacturers’ and wafer equipment manufacturers’ landscape is very dynamic, with increasing number of players in these two segments and has high level of collaborations, agreements, and partnerships activities among the players.
From the materials’ perspective, the semiconductor material used since time memorial is silicon, but it limits the operating performance and range of the electronic components and devices at high voltages and high switching frequencies. The search for other advanced semiconductor material with unique properties to reach further beyond the limits of silicon is known for decades. Several materials which are compounds and alloys of Group III and Group V elements of the periodic table, were experimented on, and tested to exhibit insulator properties at first, and were later refined for offering semiconductor properties. Several materials such as GaP, GaAs, InGaP, AlN, AlGaN, InAlN & so on have been used alongside silicon to improve the characteristics of semiconductor devices, with the latest entry from the commercial perspective being GaN.
Gallium Nitride (GaN) was tried out as a replacement material in LEDs, one of the simplest semiconductor devices. GaN was found to be the most optimal material for advancements in optical brightness and emissions, as GaN could make violet and purple LEDs (400 nm wavelength) possible without use of non-linear optical frequency doubling. After several strides and overcoming several challenges, the market for GaN LEDs slowly turned into GaN opto-semiconductors market, with development of laser diodes and other opto-semiconductors and had meager growth over the previous century. However, with the rapid developments in the overall global LED industry and advancements in deposition technologies such as MBE and MOCVD, sudden growth in the GaN LED volumes took place around the turn of the century. Several new types of LEDs and laser diodes came up over the years, with several new product launches from growing industry players, one by one venturing into the field of GaN opto-semiconductors in the previous decade.
However, as many power industry experts view it, the actual birth of Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors market (power semiconductors) happened around 2007, keeping in mind the fast growing segment, GaN power semiconductors. GaN diodes and rectifiers were slowly commercialized in the market and there was a lot of focus on developing a GaN transistor that can operate at higher voltages than silicon and at higher frequencies in the frequencies ranges of C-band and Ku-band. Slowly, GaN FETs and HEMTs came into the picture. The industry quickly focused on developing a power semiconductor as a power amplifier, and by 2009, GaN HEMT-based power amplifier ICs were commercialized. Since then, there have been continuous developments in research for commercial purposes, with parallel launches of several types of devices in both categories in discretes & ICs. These trends lead to several launches and commercialization of various application specific power semiconductors, such as power transistors & ICs for power electronics, RF-power ICs for RF-applications in just the past three years.
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Story Source: The above story was Published by Whats new in Business, January 2 2014.