11 July 2012

GaN power semi market to grow at 64% to $1.75bn by 2022

The Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductor device market is expected to reach $12.6m by the end of 2012, and the phenomenal growth rate of 60-80% year-on-year is expected to continue in subsequent years, according to the report ‘Gallium Nitride (GaN) Semiconductor Devices (Discretes & ICs) Market, Global Forecast & Analysis (2012 - 2022)’ published by MarketsandMarkets, which defines and segments the global GaN semiconductor market (including both power semiconductors and optosemiconductors).

Graphic: GaN semiconductor market revenue shares by application sector (2011-2022).

Specifically, revenue for GaN power semiconductors is forecasted to increase at an explosive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63.78% over 10 years from 2012 to $1.75bn by end of 2022. Apart from power semiconductors, GaN is predominantly used in optosemiconductors, for LEDs and laser diodes. Total market revenue for GaN semiconductors (including both power and optosemiconductors) is hence expected to reach $2.6bn by 2022.

The report notes that the specific sub-sector of semiconductors & electronics where GaN-based devices have an edge over normal silicon-based counterparts is ‘Power Semiconductors & Electronics’ and, in terms of end-user application sectors (verticals), the two major upcoming sectors facilitating demand for GaN semiconductor devices are the Industrial & Power sector and the ICT sector, which has found use for GaN power discretes (particularly transistors in power amplification, rectification, and high-frequency switching).

GaN has turned out to be the choice for most power semiconductor applications, and is quickly replacing existing silicon technology. The various properties of GaN (such as wider bandgap, high breakdown voltage, larger critical electric field, and higher thermal conductivity) allow GaN-based devices to operate at higher voltages and high switching frequencies, to handle higher power density, and to offer enhanced power efficiency than pure silicon devices. These properties allow GaN discrete such as Schottky diodes, FETs, HEMTs and other advanced transistor types to operate efficiently at much higher voltage levels, exceeding the limits of their silicon-based counterparts. GaN power semiconductors also help to reduce conduction and switching losses, offering higher efficiency in electronic systems. The major application segments for GaN power semiconductors are currently inverters (and converters), RF devices, power supply modules and motor drives (across all end-user sectors).

For GaN power semiconductor devices, growth is currently due primarily to penetration in the medium-voltage power electronics market, mainly among medium-voltage-range (300V to 1kV) applications across all the major end-user verticals. So, it is clear that most revenue is coming from the rising number of advanced power applications in the industrial, power, solar & wind sector, and the sector’s development globally. Currently, GaN power devices draw most of their revenue from the ICT sector, as they have been targeted solely at replacing their silicon counterparts in various RF power devices (particularly in RF communication applications) over the past few years.

Regarding features, GaN devices are much smaller and lighter but tougher and more efficient than silicon-based devices, and can serve as replacements for silicon counterparts that have hit maturity. With additional features such as low sensitivity to ionizing radiation and better stability in some radiation environments, GaN devices also have a future in solar cell arrays, satellites and high-end power appliances in the military, defense & aerospace sector, notes the market research firm. Apart from this sector, the devices also have huge revenue potential in the automotive and transportation sector, mainly in the electric vehicle & hybrid electric vehicle segment of the automotive sector.

The market’s total competitive landscape currently has just a handful of players, but the number is expected to rise rapidly in the coming years, with several power semiconductor industry giants and new start-ups entering the field. Currently, GaN accounts for less than 1% of the $34bn power semiconductors market (including power discretes and power ICs), but over the next 10 years the entire supplier base of power semiconductors & electronics players is expected to penetrate this new value chain, rapidly increasing GaN’s market share.

Currently, there are many suitable power applications for GaN in several application segments, such as power distribution systems, industrial systems, heavy electrical systems, turbines, heavy machinery, advanced industrial control systems, electro-mechanical computing systems etc, including several new power applications (clean-tech) such as high-voltage direct current (HVDC), smart-grid power systems, wind turbines, wind power systems, solar power systems, and electric & hybrid electric vehicles. Another application sector is ICT, with several communication application segments such as RF, radar and satellite communication offering huge revenue potentials owing to the unbeatable ability of GaN to operate at high frequency, including microwave frequencies. The potential market size for these applications is currently in trillions of dollars, making the total addressable market for GaN power semiconductors worth billions.

Due to this vast addressable market, the GaN power semiconductor market is quickly gaining pace, says the market research firm. Several transistors and diodes (& rectifiers) have been on the market since 2008, with extraordinary growth in the volume of power discretes (HEMTs, diodes & rectifiers and FETs) boosting total revenue. Another factor for revenue growth is GaN power ICs, where power ICs such as MMICs and RFICs are being launched commercially every year by major industry players following extensive R&D effort to develop new technologies. In summary, the market research firm says that the GaN power semiconductor industry shifted to a mass-production scenario in 2011, with revenue potential attracts the attention of several giants in the power semiconductor sector.

See related items:

GaN power semiconductor market to exceed $1bn by 2021

GaN power electronics market may top $1bn in a few years

GaN gaining traction in commercial applications

Tags: GaN power semiconductor market

Visit: www.marketsandmarkets.com

See Latest IssueRSS Feed


This site uses some harmless cookies in order to function click here to view our Cookie and Privacy Policy