GaN-Based LEDs Consume The Most Nitride Materials

Research and Markets has announced the addition of “New Perspectives for Nitride Materials and Devices” to their offering.

With an annual volume of more than 5 millions units of 2” equivalent substrates, GaN-based green, blue and white LED is the main eater of nitride materials targeting a $3.5B market at devices level. Current split shows that SiC substrates is accounting for ~10% of the total production, sapphire making the balancing.

Sapphire market for LED is now tending toward equilibrium with 2/3 LED manufactured on 2” and 1/3 on 3” substrates and a recent introduction of 4” production announced by Japanese Showa Denko. Sapphire material market has then just beaten the $150M barrier in 2006.

SiC is also entering in a 4” production stage at CREE but cannot be considered as a real open market.

The substrate market playground can be seen as partially unstable because of the rapid emergence of new substrates for GaN epitaxy. GaN-on-Silicon, GaN-on-ZnO, GaN-on-Germanium, GaN-on-Glass, GaN-on-AlN and composite substrates like GaN-on-diamond or Picogiga GaN-on-SopSiC are now pursuing the same Rubicon: propose the best compromise between GaN quality, large diameter, low bowing, high Tc, controlled TCE and of course, low cost. 6” is the main target and is now available of-the-shelf from selected companies. That is opening new doors to higher LED productivity toward the gigantic SSL general illumination business.

In the RF business, GaN HEMT is now ready to challenge Si LDMOS and GaAs pHEMT in the telecommunication base stations market (3G, 4G, WiMAX…). With devices reaching Psat=174W @ 6GHz under 48V polarisation, the GaN technology can be partially implemented among the 2 millions deployed mobile phone base stations and coming next WiMAX infrastructures. A 10,000 x 4” epiwafers market is forecasted in a very near future.

Gallium Nitride (GaN), as silicon carbide (SiC), is a wide bandgap material allowing reaching high breakdown voltage. Thus road to power electronics applications is wide open. However, GaN growth is based on an ethero epitaxy process with often an AlN nucleation layer forcing the devices to be designed laterally. Lateral devices are limited in term of breakdown voltage compared to vertical ones and become rapidly bulky for high power density ranges.

This situation deals with a subtle balance between substrate diameter, power density, chip size and device cost. In other terms, GaN power devices on sapphire, silicon or composite substrates can compete with SiC from a cost point of view using larger substrates (4”) to compensate the bigger chip size at a given power density.

Areas covered:

  • GaN crystal growth techniques
  • GaN material current developments
  • Optoelectronic Markets
  • GaN HB-LED market
  • Blue Laser Diodes
  • GaN RF devices market
  • Wireless phone infrastructures: BTS market
  • Defense market
  • Satellite market
  • V-SAT market data
  • WiMAX market
  • GaN RF market synthesis
  • GaN power electronics
  • Generalities
  • Power Factor Correctors market
  • Automotive applications: HEV
  • UPS applications
  • GaN power electronics market synthesis
  • General conclusions

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