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New progress in the GaN market, the rapid rise of GaN semiconductors

Posted by: Yoyokuo 2023-02-02 Comments Off on New progress in the GaN market, the rapid rise of GaN semiconductors

Last week, Navitas semiconductor (“Navi Semiconductor”), a GaN power semiconductor manufacturer, successfully listed on the Nasdaq Global Market. The semiconductor manufacturer, founded in 2014, relies on its unique GaN power integrated circuit technology to make its products run 20 times faster than traditional silicon chips, and can reduce power and charging speed in half the size and weight 3 times higher.

According to official disclosures, NanoMicro’s GaNFast power chips are used in more than 130 types of mobile chargers. As of October 2021, GaNFast power IC shipments have exceeded 30 million. At present, Nano Micro Semiconductor has cooperated with the world’s top mobile phone OEM manufacturers and PC equipment manufacturers, including Dell, Lenovo, LG, Xiaomi, OPPO, etc.

In the short seven years from 2014 to 2021, the rapid rise of this power semiconductor company is also the epitome of the growing market voice for GaN semiconductor products.

Which markets are calling for the arrival of GaN

From the perspective of the overall market environment, according to market analysis company Yole Developement, the GaN power device market will grow from $46 million in 2020 to $1.1 billion in 2026, with an average compound annual growth rate of 70%. Among them, in 2020, the GaN power market has grown several times due to the penetration of GaN devices into smartphone fast charger applications.

The report of TrendForce Consulting Research also pointed out the demand for GaN power products in the consumer market. The report shows that benefiting from the rapid rise in demand for consumer fast charging products, such as mobile phone brands Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo, which have been the first to launch since 2018 Fast charging heads are favored by consumers due to the advantages of high heat dissipation efficiency and small size. Up to now, notebook manufacturers are also interested in following up, making the GaN power market the fastest-growing category in the third-generation semiconductor industry. It is estimated that in 2021 Annual revenue will reach $83 million, an annual growth rate of 73%.

New progress in the GaN market, the rapid rise of GaN semiconductors

(Source: TrendForce Research)

The demand for GaN in the consumer electronics market has made Navitas, which prioritizes the layout of consumer electronics, succeed, and it will stand at the top of the market share of GaN power manufacturers in terms of shipments in mid-2021.

According to Navitas’ previous forecast, the market size of gallium nitride chips may grow to more than $13 billion in 2026, and the market will include mobile, consumer, enterprise (data center, 5G), renewable energy (solar energy, energy storage) and electric vehicles/electric vehicles. Therefore, in Navitas’ future plans, support for gallium nitride-based data centers, solar installations and electric vehicles has also become an important expansion area for them.

In this list, Innoscience has attracted the attention of the industry with its market share from 6% to 20%. In June of this year, Inossec ushered in a new milestone in its development—the Inossec Suzhou 8-inch GaN-on-Si R&D and production base officially entered the mass production stage. According to the report of TrendForce Consulting Research, Innosec is currently actively expanding applications in other fields, such as Lidar, on-board charger (OBC), LED power supply, etc. The rich product portfolio is expected to help it further expand its market share next year.

Judging from the layout of these manufacturers, the consumer electronics market has opened the door for GaN to enter the commercial market, and fields that require power devices such as industry and automobiles are constantly trying to adopt new devices to achieve higher performance. At the same time, the demand for GaN in the consumer market needs to be further expanded – not long ago, with the holding of Apple’s second autumn conference, their first GaN fast charging charger was also launched. According to reports, the The charger is a new power accessory developed by Apple specifically for the MacBook Pro 2021. That is to say, in addition to mobile phones, notebooks will also become another consumer Electronic product that promotes the development of GaN.

GaN market opens, who will benefit

In the GaN industry chain, foundries also play an important role. Last year, TSMC announced that it would cooperate with STMicroelectronics to develop gallium nitride process technology. According to a report from China Times Electronic News, TSMC has put into mass production of the second-generation GaN enhancement mode high electron mobility transistor (E-HEMT) this year, and the 100V depletion mode high electron mobility transistor (D-HEMT) has entered trial production. , and enter the 5G base station mode supply chain. From the perspective of future planning, TSMC is optimistic about the development of GaN in the fields of fast charging, data centers, solar power converters, 48V DC/DC and electric vehicle OBC/converters.

From the production point of view, TSMC currently has nearly 20 MOCVD organic vapor phase layer machines put into GaN mass production, and it is expected to add 10 more equipment to expand production next year. At the same time, TSMC’s investment in the world’s advanced technology has been successfully carried out in the research and development of 8-inch GaN on Si in recent years. At the end of this year, trial production and sample delivery will begin, and product design will be carried out to more than 10 customers. It is expected to enter the mass production stage next year. To the international IDM factory orders.

UMC, which is well-known in the foundry industry for its mature technology, has also actively invested in the development of compound semiconductor gallium nitride power components and RF components in recent years, locking in high-efficiency power components and 5G RF components. In September of this year, UMC announced that it and the packaging and testing factory Xinbang announced that the two parties would deepen upstream and downstream cooperation through stock exchange, and this decision is also, UMC hopes to expand the layout in the third-generation semiconductor field.

In addition to these silicon wafer foundries actively deploying GaN production lines, compound foundries are also targeting this market. Unlike the GaN-on-Si provided by TSMC, compound foundries seem to be more inclined to for GaN-on-SiC layouts. For example, Wenmao, a major compound wafer foundry, has begun to provide 6-inch GaN-on-SiC foundry services, targeting high-power PA and antenna fields.

As the largest consumer electronics market in China, as this market pays attention to GaN, many domestic manufacturers have also noticed the development of the GaN foundry market. They have all been involved in the GaN foundry process.

New players keep coming in

The market effects brought by GaN are far more than these. In addition to the major semiconductor manufacturers deploying GaN-related industries, there are also many “new” players eyeing this field.

The UK government’s UK R&D and Innovation Agency announced in early February 2021 that it will support the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) and the Newport Fab (NWF) to develop an 8-inch gallium nitride (GaN) HEMT foundry project, which is expected to be available in 8 Foundry-grade 650V GaN-on-Si HEMT (GaN-on-Si HEMT) process is provided on a 2-inch wafer platform.

In addition to establishing the GaN foundry industry, the UK is also encouraging fabless semiconductor companies to invest in the field. Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD), an independent company from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, announced on February 18, 2021 that it has received $9.5 million (about 7.8 million euros) in Series A financing. The funding will be used to expand its portfolio of energy-efficient power devices (whose goal is to design and develop next-generation GaN power modules for low- and high-power applications) and expand its team by one times as much.

In May of this year, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy of the South Korean government and the Ministry of National Defense determined the localization of “X-band gallium nitride semiconductor integrated circuits” for the cultivation of defense industry raw materials, components, and equipment companies. RFHIC (Alford), a Korean wireless communication equipment semiconductor company, was selected as the lead company for the project.

From this information, the semiconductor industry chain around GaN will grow stronger and stronger. Only from the rapid growth of Navitas and the realization of the market in less than ten years, it is foreseeable that the layout of GaN by major manufacturers is accelerating, and after these manufacturers complete the layout of the GaN industry, they will The competition between them will also become more intense.

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