LYON, FRANCE: Yole Developpement has prepared a comprehensive survey of the usage and markets through 2013 for: GaAs, GaP, InP, SiC, Sapphire and bulk-GaN, titled Compound Semiconductor substrates market 2010.
In 2011, sapphire will exceed 50 percent of CS processed surface
Silicon largely dominates the semiconductor business as the reference material. However, specific applications such as optoelectronics, RF or power electronics require material properties that cannot be offered by silicon.
GaAs, GaN, GaP, GaAs, InP, SiC and Sapphire substrates now account for 1.1 percent of the 7,504 million square inches annually processed in semiconductor foundries. However, that small portion of processed area is compensated by a higher merchant price leading to a $880 million raw substrate market size in 2009 and reaching the billion dollar threshold in 2010.
Up to now, GaAs was the leading material in volume thanks to the wireless technology and red / orange / yellow LED demand, but sapphire will take the lead from 2011 driven by the booming business in white LED for LCD backlight and general illumination.
These materials have been protected from silicon competition because they allow device performance not reachable by the semiconductor material (Frequency, power, thermal conductivity, robustness, junction temperature, voltage breakdown…).
Even though compound materials have market prices dramatically higher than Si, Technical Specs have been, and will remain, the main driver for the adoption of these CS substrates and related technologies. All the considered materials are now available in a 4 inch format except bulk GaN that has just been released in 3 inch in Japan. This diameter expansion helps to lower the manufacturing cost of CS-based devices and to mass market affordable products.