Wide-Bandgap Semiconductor Single Crystal Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the global wide-bandgap semiconductor single crystal market and has found out the trends by product, the trends of market players, and the future outlook.
Wide-bandgap semiconductor single crystals are progressively used in power devices to replace Si, expanding the market year by year. The global wide-bandgap semiconductor single crystal market size based on the shipment value at makers is projected to attain 10,082 million yen, 102.4% of the size of the previous year. The market size by material is expected to be as follows: SiC achieving 5,401 million yen to dominate 54% of the entire market, GaN reaching 4,147 million yen to occupy 41%, Ga2O3 at 215 million yen accounting for 2%, AIN at 80 million yen with 1%, and diamond attaining 239 million yen to account for 2%. Thus, SiC is likely to occupy more than half of the market due to large number of applications.
When observing the trend by material, SiC stably keeps its position for being already accepted into many applications of power semiconductors. GaN, often used for lighting, is currently promising to expand the applications as “post-SiC.” Ga2O3 has its market just been formed, but with its samples for power devices waiting to be shipped, a large project has been launched for it to be mass produced to cope with large demand. AIN has a grounding to be a material of an electronic device, but is currently difficult to mass produce a wafer of the size more than 2 inches, so that it is likely to be used only for deep ultraviolet LEDs for the time being. Diamonds are often used as an industrial material rather than electronic devices. In order for diamonds to be used as an electronic material, further studies are needed. All the materials mentioned above are expected for continuous growth, as their demands increasing after they have gone through the phases of research & development then of implementation into some applications.
4-Inch SiC Single Crystalline Wafer Attained 10,000 Yen per Inch, Increase of New Market Players May Lead to Further Price Reduction
In order for SiC devices to be fully adopted, SiC device makers requested wafer makers to reduce the prices to 10,000 yen per inch of an epitaxial wafer.
As of 2019, unit price of 6-inch SiC single crystalline wafers seems to be 80,000 yen for a certain repeat products, indicating that the price has been significantly on the fall during the past few years. In addition, a certain level of mass production allowed 4-inch SiC single crystalline wafers to cost at around 30,000 to 40,000 yen, i.e., 11,000 to 15,000 yen per inch of epitaxial wafer, closing in on the level of 10,000 yen per inch.
Although SiC single crystalline wafers are projected to be made into larger sizes, as large as 8 inches for the future, currently those with that size are made only as samples at major companies and seem to take time until being sold at market. Rather, those with the size of 4 or 6 inches are expected to be sold at reduced prices by way of improving the first pass yield.
On the other hand, new market entry one after another has made the competition severer, and further price reduction can be expected. The following companies, i.e. GlobalWafers, a major Si wafer supplier, and Chinese makers including CETC, SICCAS, HebeiTech, and CISRI, are said to be at the phase of development. Shinko MechatroTech Co., Ltd. from Japan is about to commercialize the project. SK Siltron, a South Korean company, has announced the acquisition of SiC wafer manufacturing business from Dupont Electronics & Imaging (in the US) of Dupont Group, which is to complete the procedure within 2019.
The global wide-bandgap semiconductor single crystal market is likely to expand for the future, as the applications to increase and the power devices projected to be fully accepted. The global market size based on the shipment value at makers is projected to attain 24,539 million yen by 2025. The composition ratio by material is expected to be as follows: SiC achieving 16,182 million yen to dominate 66% of the entire market, GaN reaching 4,950 million yen to occupy 20%, Ga2O3 at 2,182 million yen accounting for 9%, AIN at 860 million yen with 4%, and diamond attaining 365 million yen or 1%.
As implementation together with the number of application of SiC increases, the demand for 6-inch single crystalline wafers is likely to rapidly increases.
As for GaN, full implementation of 4-inch single crystalline wafers is surely close at hand, but the current most-used wafer size is 2 inches. GaN is projected to grow stably as the demand for its final application, i.e., laser projector, increases.
Ga2O3 wafers can be synthesized by several melt-growth methods which facilitate creating larger-diameter wafers. Therefore, after 4-inch substrates are mass produced, 6-inch substrates are considered to be easily ready for mass production. The devices using Ga2O3 as a whole are expected to increase their presence, as electronic devices with β-Ga2O3 single-crystalline substrate applied emerge just after the devices with α-Ga2O3-deposited on foreign substrates are to be used extensively.
Though the devices using AlN may compete with the deep UV devices for sterilization made by depositing AIN on foreign substrates, they are considered to gain ground, as their device performance is expected to grow more than those using foreign substrate, because of high output can be attained when using single crystalline AlN.
Although single crystalline diamond has good physical property, its cutting process is significantly difficult so that time seems to be needed until the technologies not only for single crystals but also for peripheral areas to mature. Therefore, the market is basically formed only for research and development until around 2025.
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