Frost Radar™: GaNtronics, 2020

Frost Radar™: GaNtronics, 2020

  • December 2020 •
  • 38 pages •
  • Report ID: 6010576 •
  • Format: PDF
Silicon (Si) has been the dominant semiconductor material used in today’s electronics.Starting from smartphones to high frequency industrial drives used in manufacturing, silicon plays a vital role.

But, the material is reaching a level of saturation owing to its limitations of operability at high temperature, high frequency, and high voltage. Hence, the semiconductor industry has been in the constant lookout for an alternative for silicon that can go the extra mile in delivering optimized performance.Compound semiconductors, which typically comprise of a combination of various compounds from group 3 and group 5 of the periodic table have emerged in the semiconductor industry as they cater to few core areas such as high power electronics (HPE), photonics, and high-speed communication wherein silicon couldn’t create an impact. Gallium nitride (GaN) has been identified as a key semiconductor material for high power and high-frequency applications.GaN has been the chosen material for fabrication of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that have revolutionized the lighting industry by replacing incandescent lamps. However, GaN’s entry into the semiconductor industry is bogged down by few limitations such as manufacturing complexity and lack of compatibility with CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) fabrication and towering equipment cost, which significantly increases the price of a GaN component in comparison to silicon. Henceforth, the electronics industry is yet to observe a large scale implementation of GaN. The analyst estimates a high growth trend in GaNtronics technology will be driven by the emergence of 5G, electric vehicles (EVs), and microLEDs. This has pushed the global semiconductor OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and ODMs (original design manufacturers) to venture into GaNtronics.Although GaN has to achieve manufacturing maturity in comparison to silicon, substrate technologies such as GaN-on-Si, GaN-on-SiC (silicon carbide), GaN-on-diamond, and GaN-on-GaN are gaining traction in order to achieve rapid commercialization. Moreover, emerging trends such as circuit miniaturization and clean energy are driving innovations in GaNtronics.One of the key factors that will determine the growth of GaNtronics is the formation of a global collaborative supply chain similar to silicon in order to realize cost reduction, performance optimization, and product development. This will ensure volume production and will determine GaN’s ability to achieve price-to-performance ratio similar to that of silicon.