Wide Band Gap technologies: SiC and GaN open the way to new markets


  • SiC, GaN and other Wide Band GaP (WBG) materials represent new choices for power electronics applications.
  • SiC n-type wafers will increase to US$ 110 million by 2020 with a 21% CAGR.
  • Many players are competing on the GaN-on-Si epiwafer open market. What will happen?
  • Not only is there GaN-on-Si, but also GaN-on-GaN. What's the status of bulk GaN wafer production?

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LYON, France – November 10, 2015: First silicon carbide (SiC) devices have been released by Infineon Technologies in 2001... Since this period, the Wide Band Gap (WBG) market has grown facing to numerous challenges but also structuring the industry and market needs. In its latest technology and market analysis entitled SiC, GaN and other WBG materials for Power Electronics Applications (Yole Développement, October 2015), Yole Développement (Yole) explains, SiC and GaN, the most advanced WBG technologies open the way to new markets:
  SiC devices are still the most established WBG solution; this market is expected to reach more than US$110 million in 2020.
  In parallel, gallium nitride (GaN) solutions is expected to explode: Yole’s analysts identify an important Total Accessible Market (TAM). According to Yole, its adoption would therefore be soon significant…
SiC, GaN and other WBG materials, a small but growing business …

Under its new WBG materials analysis Yole’s team proposes an overview of the whole WBG technologies, with a detailed industrial landscape including established materials such as SiC and GaN and also alternative materials (GaN-on-Si; GaN-on-GaN; Ga2O3; Diamond; AlN …). This report includes a dedicated section of the most well-known WBG materials, SiC and GaN and their applications; for each solution, the “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company, Yole describes the main remaining challenges facing WBG materials players and details the market projections.

“SiC n-type wafers will increase to US$ 110 million by 2020 with a 21% CAGR, “announces Dr Hong Lin, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole. And she confirms: “Driven by the SiC-based power devices market, the n-type SiC substrates market will grow from around US$35 million in 2014 to US$110 million in 2020, with a 21% CAGR.”

4” wafers are still the market’s preferred product for power electronic applications. However, some suppliers are now able to provide 6” wafers with good enough quality for power devices -- and an 8” SiC wafer was demonstrated by II-VI in 2015.

The average price for 6” is still 2.25x higher than 4”. However the price continues to decrease and will drop below the threshold in late 2015 - early 2016. The transition to 6” is beginning; in fact, ROHM, a SiC device leader, just announced that mass production on 6” wafers will commence in Q3 2015.

The n-type SiC substrate market player rankings have stabilized of late. Cree remains the market leader; then follow Dow Corning, SiCrystal, and II-VI right behind. At Yole, analysts identify now four Chinese SiC suppliers. “Their current announced capacity is more than 150,000 wafers per year, with further increases expected”, asserts Dr Hong from Yole.

Moreover, in early 2015, TankeBlue demonstrated a 6’’ n-type wafer. According to Yole’s analysis, the Chinese players should be considered as serious market challengers.

Under this new technology & market report, Yole also describes the status of the GaN industry including GaN-on-SiC and Gan-on-GaN technologies and more… According to Yole, the GaN-on-Si epiwafer market is still opened and many players are strongly competing. So, what will happen? GaN-on-Si technology is very challenging due to large lattice and the thermal coefficient of expansion (CTE) mismatch between gallium nitride and silicon. That said, GaN-on-Si’s main issues have been resolved and several companies have begun commercializing power devices based on this technology.
Attracted by the device market’s potential, players with different origins are active on the GaN-on-Si epiwafer open market and thinking of selling epiwafers to device players. These players are:
  Silicon substrate suppliers wanting to move up the value chain. For example Siltronic.
  Device foundries like Episil that want to move down the value chain.
  Some LED chip suppliers. For example San’an
  Large epi houses such as IQE
  And Epigan and other pure GaN epi houses
And Dr Hong comments: “The power GaN device business is only in its early stages, the related GaN epiwafer open market is not yet well-established. Competition is very intense; Azzurro’s 2014 bankruptcy has illustrated the risks faced by start-up GaN epi houses.”
Yole’s report includes a detailed description of the GaN-on-Si epiwafer market and its vision for the future.

A full description of the WBG materials report is available on i-micronews.com, compound semi. reports section (or click Here).

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