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19 December 2006


Survey ranks Asia GaAs epi suppliers highest; Hitachi Cable overtakes FCM for substrates

Strategy Analytics has released the results of two surveys detailing customer ratings for bulk and epitaxial GaAs substrate suppliers, revealing that uniformity and price are the critical parameters used by GaAs device manufacturers and epitaxial wafer suppliers when choosing a substrate supplier.

In its report on semi-insulating GaAs epitaxial substrates, Asif Anwar, director of Strategy Analytics’ GaAs Service, notes that “The Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) epitaxial wafer suppliers have differentiated themselves on cost. Aside from IQE, none of the other epitaxial wafer suppliers could match VPEC and MBE Technology wafer pricing”. He adds, “MBE Technology also had the highest rating overall as a result of strong customer ratings in both the technical and commercial parameters."

In its report on semi-insulating GaAs bulk substrates, Stephen Entwistle, VP of the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice, says “Customers rated the top three suppliers of SI GaAs bulk substrates, Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI), Hitachi Cable and Freiberger Compound Materials (FCM), highly for technical parameters, with little difference between the three.”

However, Hitachi Cable overtook FCM and was the clear leader for commercial parameters, rated highly in particular for its delivery, lead times and technical support. Most notable though was the considerable improvement in AXT’s commercial ratings, though the company still needs to catch up on technical parameters, Entwistle concludes.