FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.



25 May 2009


Merchant substrate market for GaN to reach $470m in 2013

Over the past 15 years, the availability of high-quality sapphire and silicon carbide (SiC) substrates has enabled the rapid growth of the gallium nitride device market (mainly high-brightness LEDs) to $4.6bn in 2008. However, increasing demand for blue-violet laser diodes, UV LEDs and high-power, high-frequency electronic devices will provide significant market opportunities for advanced substrates such as gallium nitride and aluminum nitride, according to the report ‘Substrates for GaN-Based Devices: Performance Comparisons and Market Assessment 2009’ from Strategies Unlimited.

These substrates will be needed to provide the lattice matching and thermal characteristics necessary to produce high-performance devices at high yields, says the market research firm. At the same time, demand for higher device manufacturing throughput and lower costs will push sapphire and SiC diameters from 2 inches to 3 and 4 inches, and ultimately to 6 inches, it adds.

As the market expands, a number of firms are in a position to provide such substrates, including larger, established companies such as Sumitomo Electric, Cree and Samsung Corning, as well as smaller technology-focused startups such as Crystal IS, Kyma, and TopGaN. The effort to develop advanced substrates, as well as to improve conventional substrate properties, is worldwide in scope and includes 80 companies and 65 universities and research centers, reckons Strategies Unlimited.

Based on the forecast demand for high-brightness LEDs, blue-violet laser diodes, and high-power, high-frequency electronic devices, the merchant market for substrates for gallium nitride devices (excluding captive producers such as Cree) is forecast to grow from $280m in 2008 to $470m in 2013. In particular, advanced substrates such as gallium nitride and aluminum nitride will comprise more than 40% of the market in 2013, predicts Strategies Unlimited.

See related item:

Bulk GaN substrates to expand from blue lasers to lighting and power electronics

Search: Sapphire substrates SiC substrates GaN LEDs Sumitomo Electric Cree Crystal IS Kyma TopGaN