Lux Research: GaN-on-Si will dominate the GaN power electronics market for the next decade, reaching $1B by 2024
22 December 2014
Emerging materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) look to displace silicon in power electronic applications. While silicon and SiC (SiC-on-SiC) come in only one flavor, GaN comes in many different variants, including GaN-on-Si, GaN-on-SiC, and GaN-on-GaN. In a new report, Lux Research forecasts that the total market for GaN power electronics overall will grow at 32% CAGR, reaching $1.1 billion by 2024, or more than 5% of the total market share.
Each variety of GaN has advantages and disadvantages while also being better suited to different power electronics applications. For example, Lux notes, while GaN-on-Si offers price benefits over the other GaN types, GaN-on-SiC can offer benefits of efficient high-temperature operation.
Lux forecasts that the GaN-on-silicon (Si) market will grow at more than 30% CAGR to reach nearly $1.0 billion by 2024, representing 90% of the total GaN market. This is largely due to the sheer number of companies developing GaN-on-Si solutions for power electronics markets.
GaN-on-Si in transportation and renewables and grid markets will reach about $380 million and $350 million, respectively, in 2024, proving to be the runaway leaders for adoption of GaN-on-Si.
GaN-on-SiC and GaN-on-GaN will have a limited play in power electronics until SiC and GaN substrates become substantially cheaper.
GaN-on-Si carbide (SiC) will be best adopted in the transportation segment, reaching nearly $100 million in 2024. SiC substrates’ ability to function efficiently at high temperatures will be a key driver for GaN-on-SiC adoption. In contrast, GaN-on-GaN will experience lukewarm adoption across all applications.
The success of GaN-on-Si will attract investments not only from silicon incumbent device manufacturers but also from foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) that are already invested in GaN-on-Si for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), Lux said. GaN-on-Si leverages silicon infrastructure, and with foundries becoming increasingly cash-rich, expect to see select foundries move upstream through direct partnerships, investments, or acquisition of device manufacturers in GaN-on-Si longer term.