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8 February 2013

GaN device market to grow at 18% annually through 2016

The global gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor device market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18% over 2012-2016, forecasts a new report from TechNavio (the market research platform of Infiniti Research Ltd).

“The applications of gallium nitride are expanding aggressively across various segments, especially in the Automobile segment,” notes an analyst from TechNavio’s Hardware team. “The evolution of electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles is primarily driving the demand for GaN power semiconductors in the Automobile segment. In addition, the increase in infotainment applications in the Automobile segment is driving the demand for GaN opto-semiconductor devices in the global market,” they add. “Furthermore, the increase in applications in the Defense segment is gaining traction in this market.''

One of the key factors contributing to this growth is the high thermal conductivity of GaN over other non-silicon substrates such as gallium arsenide (GaAs), says the report. Although GaAs has the required thermal conductivity, it can only operate with a maximum of 14 volts. In order to overcome this, semiconductor firms prefer GaN-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) wafers and GaN on silicon carbide (SiC) wafers, which have the capability to provide high thermal conductivity and to generate high power.

The GaN device market has therefore witnessed the increasing preference for GaN with different substrates. However, the complexity in matching cost and performance could pose a challenge to the growth of this market, reckons the market research firm.

The report ‘Global Gallium Nitride Semiconductor Devices Market 2012-2016’ also includes a discussion of the dominant vendors operating in the market, such as NXP Semiconductors NV, RF Micro Devices Inc, and Triquint Semiconductor Inc, as well as Nichia Corp, Osram Optosemiconductors GmbH, Royal Philips Electronics NV, and Toyoda Gosei Co Ltd.

However, the report also concludes that the lack of trained professionals in this field is slowing down market progress.

Tags: GaN


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