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Power GaN 2012 edition

This publication has been discontinued on April 11, 2014.




GaN Power Electronics will top one billion dollar in revenue in a couple of years thanks to a cross-fertilization with the LED industry...


The GaN power device industry has probably generated less than $2.5M revenues in 2011, as only 2 companies (IRF & EPC Corp.) are selling products on the open market. However, the overall GaN activity has seen extra revenues as R&D contracts, qualification tests and sampling for qualified customers was extremely buoyant.

At very short term, IRF and EPC will likely remain the two main vendors of GaN power devices on the open market in early 2012. This market is likely to stay below $10M for devices, with the rest being made through R&D sales.

2013 should signal the transition from qualification to production ramp-up for several new entrants.The device market could reach the $50M threshold. In 2014, most of these new entrants will ramp-up their capacity, and by 2015 the availability and adoption of qualified 600V+ GaN devices should see the market grow very quickly, and open doors to non-consumer applications. In 2015, 12-15 players will share the consumption of more than 100,000 x 6" (equiv.) epiwafers.


Beyond that, if GaN is qualified in the EV/HEV sector, GaN device business could top the billion dollar line and the GaN-on-Si substrate market could exceed $300M revenues by 2019. However, it is still unclear how car makers will choose between SiC, GaN or the current Silicon technology. At the substrate end, R&D activities are still quite fragmented between several options involving GaN-on-Sapphire, GaN-on-SiC, GaN-on-GaN, GaN-on-AlN and GaN-on-Silicon. Nevertheless, GaNon-Si is likely to take a dominant position as 6" is now available with more than 7µm thick GaN epi and 8" is under qualification. 8" diameter availability is probably the parameter that will make this technology choice obvious.

It is now obvious that the GaN power world attracts numerous newcomers. We have screened 5 companies positioned on the epiwafer business side and more than 6 GaN device pure-players, aside to another 15 Si-based power firms developing GaN technology.


A new trend is LED players now starting looking at this new business opportunity and wondering how to put in place a strategy of diversification to convert their existing extra LED capacity into power. That represents an "epsilon" today, but we assume it may create some disturbances in the natural and organic expected growth... GaN power electronics past, present and future business is inseparable to the LED industry. Both are linked in technology and market dynamics.

  • In the past, the premises of GaN epi technology came from the LED industry that has brought this technology from the labs to mass production.
  • Today, the extensive developments of GaN-on-Si epiwafers fertilized both the LED and the Power industry. Most of the epiwafer vendors are targeting these 2 segments with dedicated products and offers.
  • Tomorrow, it is likely some incumbent LED pure-players will enter in the Power industry world, using their extra-capacity and existing tool-sets to make, at least epiwafers, or even power devices.

Thus, at the end of the day, we won't talk about LED or Power sectors anymore, but rather about"GaN device industry" as main players could be the same...


Power device makers usually buy polished Silicon wafers, conduct the epi (or buy Si epi-wafers) if needed (FZ thin wafer doesn't require epitaxy) then process the devices. This model is roughly the same for SiC technology. For those who plan to enter in the GaN field, 2 scenarios could occur:

  • Some may not integrate MOCVD GaN epitaxy. They will buy GaN epiwafers and process it in the existing CMOS Front-End lines, as they use to do with Silicon substrates (or SiC).
  • Some will try to fully integrate the GaN process, from the bare silicon, the GaN epi and the Front-End.


Aixtron, AZZURRO, BeMiTec, Bridgelux, CamGaN Ltd, Diotec, Dow Corning, Dowa Electronics Materials,Enphase, EPC Corp., EpiGaN, Episil, Fairchild, FBH, Freescale, Fuji Electric, Furukawa, GaN Systems,GLO AB, Global foundries, HelioDEL, Hitachi, III-V Lab, IMEC, Infineon, International Rectifier, Intersil,IQE, Kyma, LatticeSemiconductor, LG Electronics, LG Siltron, Lumileds, MicroGaN, Microsemi, Mitsubishi Electric, Nitek Inc., Nitronex, NTT, NXP, OnSemi, Osram, Oxford Instruments, Panasonic, Plessey,Semiconductors, Powdec, Power Integrations, Renesas, Rose Street Lab, Samsung, Sanken Electric, Shimei Semiconductor, Shindengen, Siltronic, Soitec, STMicro, Sumitomo SEI, Texas Instruments,Toshiba, Transluscent, Transphorm, TSMC, Tyndall National Institute, Veeco, Velox, Vishay...



This report provides a complete analysis of the GaN device and substrate industry in the power electronics field along with key market metrics. It provides company involvement as well as technology state-of-the-art. In addition, an extensive review of the possible substrates for GaN is provided, offering the most complete view of the Power GaN industry available to date.

Table of Contents



What we saw, what we missed...Comparison with 2010 report

Executive Summary p.10

  • Status of the GaN power industry
  • GaN Power Electronics cross-fertilizes with LED industry!
  • How do we envision the GaN power electronics story unfolding?
  • Power GaN: a Question of Business Model...
  • 2010-2020 market size, split by device type
  • 2010-2020 market size, split by application
  • GaN could exceed 5% of The Overall Power Device Market by 2020...
  • GaN-on-what? At the end of the day it will be Silicon... As usual
  • 6" GaN-on-Si epiwafer & template market price evolution roadmap to 2020
  • 6" (equiv.) GaN-on-Si Epi-wafer 2010-2020 market size and volume, split by application
  • GaN-on-Si epiwafers will exceed 1% of the overall Power substrates volume by 2020...
  • Comparison of Power Electronics substrate (Si, Si-epi, SiC and GaN) market size to 2020

Overall Power Electron ics Market p.23

  • What TAM for GaN? 2006-2020 overall PE market size, split by device type
  • Focus on discrete devices
  • Market size, split by type
  • Market size, split by voltage range
  • 2011-2020 value-chain analysis: wafer,device,system
  • Top-20 Power Semiconductor revenues
  • Power Device Business Regional Analysis
  • Wafer diameter evolution in Power Electronics 2010-2020
  • Market size for Si, Si+epi and SOI substrates for the overall Power Electronics business, split by diameter
  • Application Market Segment Definition and Content
  • Device revenues distributed by voltage range

GaN Power Electron ics Market Segmentation p.34

  • Why Would GaN Replace Silicon in Power Electronics?
  • GaN: faster than IGBT, more powerful than MOSFET
  • Life-cycle of power device technologies A new generation every ~20 years...
  • GaN Devices in Power Electronics Possible applications
  • Power Range of the Targeted Applications
  • Reasons for GaN Added Value
  • Expected improvements in power conversion
  • Estimated accessible markets, growth rate, and time to market
  • GaN vs. SiC SWOT Analysis
  • GaN vs. SiC vs. Si Figure-of-merit

GaN Industry Involvement p 45

  • Recent M&A, investments and fund raisings in the GaN area
  • Top-20 Power Semiconductor Involvement in GaN
  • Established Power Semiconductor Company Involvement in GaN and future plans
  • Power GaN main players and related business model
  • Power device manufacturers
  • Origin of GaN involvement
  • Industrial Supply-chain in North America
  • Industrial Supply-chain in Europe
  • Industrial Supply-chain in Asia
  • Typical cycle-time from R&D to mass production in Power Electronics
  • Status of the GaN-on-Si device makers as of late 2011

GaN Power Device Developments p.56

  • GaN-on-Si: Main technical steps over the valuechain
  • Lateral vs. vertical design: pros & cons
  • Comparison of best GaN HEMT R&D results Vb, I and A/mm2 with existing SJ MOSFET and SiC MOSFET
  • Expected evolution of GaN commercial device current density (A/mm2) to 2020 for several voltage ranges
  • GaN Product Introduction Roadmap, based on announcements
  • GaN-based Power Devices Overview of ongoing initiatives
    • Furukawa Electric
    • Fujitsu
    • Hitachi Cable / Hosei University
    • NEC
    • Panasonic
    • Powdec
    • Sumitomo SEI, Univ. of Fukui and Sharp
    • Toshiba
    • Toyota R&D Lab
    • Sanken Electric
    • Hong Kong University of Science &
    • Technology (HKU ST)
    • GaN Systems "Island technology"
    • International Rectifier GaNpowIR"!
    • EPC Corp.
  • Reverse Engineering of EPC EPC 10xx series
  • GaN transistor die-size as a function of Vb and Id
  • GaN transistor power and current density

GaN Device Manufacturing Cost Analysis p.92

  • Typical 200V HEMT cost breakdown
  • GaN/Si FET Cost Breakdown Model Projection
  • From 6" wafer to 200V/12A packaged device.2011 status
  • Manufacturing Price of a 200V/12A Transistor Comparison Si, GaN & SiC
  • GaN Transistor Specs & Market Price Analysis Comparison with Silicon MOSFET
  • Expected evolution of GaN device market price in $/amp for several Vb
  • Payback time for GaN introduction upon 2 applications: PFC 1kW and PV inverter 5kW

What if LED makers use their MOCVD extra -capacity to manufacture Power Devices ? p.99

  • The rationales and key questions behind such a hypothesis...
  • Possible impact on the power device economics
  • GaN MOCVD Capacity Geographic Trends Q4 2009 -> Q1 2012
  • GaN MOCVD Capacity Installed base and extra unit calculation
  • GaN MOCVD Reactor Capacity vs. Demand
  • A 2-step scenario: LED-on-Si then power devices
  • Step 1: from Sapphire to Silicon
  • Step 2: from LED to Power Devices
  • LED-on-Silicon is not a new idea
  • LED-on-Silicon: Recent Activity
  • Estimation of MOCVD reactors demand for GaN
  • Power Electronics
  • Conclusions

GaN Substrates p.113

  • Different Substrates for GaN Epitaxy
  • Direct epi-growth
  • Composite substrates: wafer bonding approach
  • AZZURRO Semiconductors (GE)
  • EpiGaN (B)
  • IMEC (Belgium)
  • Institute of Material Research and Engineering "A*Star"
  • The RoseStreet Lab
  • Translucent (US)
  • SOITEC (F) + Sumitomo (J)
  • AmberWave (US), now Micron
  • Si-on-PolyAlN composite substrate "BriteGaN"
  • Bulk & Free-Standing GaN
    • State-of-the-art results
    • 2010 product status and volume estimations
    • Specifications: R&D status & emerging projects
    • 2" FS & ELO GaN Substrates
    • 2007-2015 market price
  • GaN/xx Epiwafer Expected Specs
  • GaN/xx Epiwafer Usage
  • Technical feasibility and manufacturing cost
  • Possible Competing Technologies to GaN
  • Risk analysis
  • Possible benefits of 6" to 8"diameter transition upon manufacturing parameters and device cost
  • Overall GaN-on-Si Competitive Landscape: Who will buy or manufacture GaN substrates ?
  • The pro/cons of various GaN-on-Si substrate procurement, as perceived by the device makers
  • Conclusions

Focus on EV/HEV Market p.145

  • EV/HEV Types and Availability Micro, mild, full and plug in hybrid
  • HEV/EV Principles and Functionalities
  • EV/HEV Annual Demand Forecast to 2020 in Munits
  • Toyota HEV Power Module
  • Roadmap for Operation Voltage in HEV
  • HEV Inverter Module Cost Breakdown
  • Expected Improvements of GaN Introduction in HEV
  • The TOP 5 Key Requirements For power transistors in
  • Toyota Vision of WBG Technology use in HEV
  • GaN vs. SiC & vertical vs. lateral
  • Device Roadmap for Micro/Mild Hybrid
  • Device Roadmap for Full/Plug-in Hybrid and EV
  • Overall Market for Power Modules in EV/HEV Applications
  • GaN devices in EV/HEV Sales projections
  • 6" GaN epi-wafer Volume for EV/HEV

Focus on Inverters for Solar Panels

  • Solar Market Segment
  • PV Inverter Overview
  • System & component & material architecture
  • Current usage of Silicon devices in PV inverter DC/AC Stage
  • System Architecture: Multi-level H-bridge architecture
  • Devices used for PV Inverter as of today
  • Implementation of New Technologies SiC vs. GaN
  • Focus on transistors
  • SiC vs. GaN battle
  • PV Inverter Market: Worldwide shipments by market segment
  • PV Inverters Cost
  • TOP-5 Main Manufacturers of Solar Inverters
  • GaN Device Market for PV Inverters
  • GaN epiwafer Market for PV Inverters 6" equiv.
  • GaN substrate market volume (units)

Focus on UPS Market

  • UPS Product Segments
  • Projection of World UPS Market to 2020 split by power range
  • UPS Vendor Market Shares
  • UPS Architecture Examples
  • GaN Devices in UPS Applications 2010-2020 market forecasts
  • GaN 6" epi-wafer demand in UPS Applications 2010-2020

Focus on Motor AC Drive

  • AC Drive Applications
  • Motor Drive History
  • AC Drive Market as a Function of Power Range 2010-2020 projectionTotal accessible market volume
  • Market shares
  • Supply-chain
  • Architecture
  • GaN Device Market Value in AC Drive Applications 2010-2020
  • 6" GaN epi-wafer Market Volume For MotorAC drive applications

Focus on Power Supply & Power Factor Correction Market

  • PFC Market Main metrics
  • Main GaN Added Value in PFC circuits
  • PFC Efficiency Comparison as a function of junction T° and Schottky diode type (Si, SiC and GaN)
  • GaN Devices main market requirements for PFC applications
  • Comparison of Si, SiC and GaN Diode Cost in a PFC module

Appendix p.200

  • European R&D Programs LAST-POWER
  • European R&D Programs HIPOSWITCH
  • European R&D Programs MORGaN
  • European R&D Programs E3Car
  • European R&D Programs THOR
  • France R&D Programs G2REC
  • German R&D Programs NEUL AND
  • IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program
  • Taiwan R&D Programs Wide-bandgap electronics alliance
  • Fuji Electric and Furukawa to partner on GaN power devices
  • Furukawa teams-up with Powdec on GaN power electronics
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