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18 December 2008


GaN microelectronic device market to grow at CAGR of 98% to 2012

The gallium nitride (GaN) microelectronic device market will expand at a compound annual average growth rate (CAAGR) of 98% through to 2012, forecasts market research firm Strategy Analytics in its latest study ‘GaN Market Update 2007-2012’. In particular, military and defense applications will dominate demand, accounting for 55% of the total market in 2012.

With the automotive industry now looking to silicon carbide (SiC) technology to replace silicon bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) in hybrid vehicles, wireless infrastructure markets will represent the primary commercial opportunity for GaN.

“Despite strong growth projections, the development of a commercial market for GaN still faces a number of challenges, not least of which will be the growing high-voltage, high-power and wide-bandwidth capabilities of GaAs and silicon technologies,” cautions Strategy Analytics’ Asif Anwar. “This will have an impact on long-term growth and could potentially limit GaN adoption to niches where other technologies simply cannot compete.”

The new study also looks at long-term substrate material trends. SiC should remain the mainstay as a substrate technology for GaN devices, with GaN-on-SiC devices predicted to account for 83% of the GaN device market in 2012. GaN bulk substrate technology development will progress through 2012, but GaN bulk substrates’ penetration of the GaN RF market will be limited in the face of competition from Si and SiC substrates, concludes Strategy Analytics.

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