Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Powering the Future: The Rise of Compound Semiconductor Substrates and Epiwafers

Yole Group reports that the compound semiconductor substrate market is on the brink of a significant transformation, poised to reach a staggering US$3.3 billion by 2029, with an impressive compound annual growth rate of 17% from 2023 to 2029. This growth is underpinned by the relentless innovation and strategic foresight of leading players like Wolfspeed and Coherent, who are continuously refining their product portfolios and expanding their market footprints.

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Atomic Layer Etching (ALE) play specific roles in the compound semiconductor industry. ALD is used to apply ultra-thin layers crucial for semiconductor devices, especially in insulating layers and gate dielectrics in transistors. ALE, with its precise etching capability, is key for crafting fine details in devices, often used in the patterning of nanoscale structures in LEDs and high-frequency transistors. These technologies support the development of advanced, reliable applications in power electronics and photonics.

At the heart of this industry evolution are the advancements in compound semiconductor technologies, spanning materials such as Silicon Carbide (SiC), Gallium Nitride (GaN), and Indium Phosphide (InP). These materials are catalyzing a revolution across various sectors, with SiC leading the charge in the automotive industry, particularly within the burgeoning 800V electric vehicle segment. GaN, on the other hand, is making inroads into consumer electronics and automotive applications, promising to redefine power electronics with its superior efficiency.

Check link below for High-Res graph

The impact of compound semiconductors extends beyond power electronics into the realm of photonics, where InP and GaAs are setting new benchmarks. InP, for instance, is witnessing a resurgence, driven by its critical role in AI applications, while GaAs photonics continues to grow, albeit at a steadier pace.

Yole Group, a market research and strategy consulting firm, in its latest "Status of Compound Semiconductors Industry 2024" report, provides an exhaustive analysis of these trends. The report delves into each substrate's market dynamics and technological advancements, offering a comprehensive overview of the ecosystem.

LINK: Compound semiconductors industry: an unprecedented promise (yolegroup.com)

As the industry stands at the precipice of transitioning to larger diameter substrates, the demand for high-data-rate lasers in AI is pushing for a shift to 6” InP substrates. Concurrently, GaAs is exploring the potential of 8” manufacturing for MicroLEDs, despite the challenges it faces against OLED technology.

In this dynamic landscape, companies like Wolfspeed and Coherent are not just participants but are leading the charge towards a more efficient, technologically advanced future. Their efforts in expanding material capacity and forging strategic alliances are testament to the industry's readiness to embrace the next wave of semiconductor innovation.

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