Advanced substrate demand to increase for gallium-nitride devices, says Strategies Unlimited

May 26, 2009--The availability of high-quality sapphire and silicon-carbide substrates has enabled the rapid growth of the gallium-nitride device (mainly high-brightness LED) market to $4.6 billion in 2008. But according to a new report from Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA), increasing demand for blue-violet laser diodes, UV LEDs, and other devices will provide significant growth of advanced substrates such as gallium nitride and aluminum nitride.

May 26th, 2009

May 26, 2009--The availability of high-quality sapphire and silicon-carbide substrates has enabled the rapid growth of the gallium-nitride device (mainly high-brightness LED) market to $4.6 billion in 2008 (see "Lighting brightens LED market"). But according to a new report from Strategies Unlimited (Mountain View, CA), increasing demand for blue-violet laser diodes, UV LEDs, and other devices will provide significant growth of advanced substrates such as gallium nitride and aluminum nitride (see also "Market perspective is aim of OptoIQ blog").

The report, entitled Substrates for GaN-Based Devices: Performance Comparisons and Market Assessment 2009, says that these advanced substrates will be needed to provide the lattice matching and thermal characteristics necessary to produce high-performance devices at high yields. At the same time, demand for higher device manufacturing throughput and lower costs will push sapphire and silicon-carbide (SiC) diameters from two inches to three and four inches, and ultimately to six inches.

A number of companies are in a position to provide such substrates as the market expands. These include larger established companies such as Sumitomo Electric, Cree, and Samsung Corning, as well as smaller technology-focused startups such as Crystal IS, Kyma, and TopGaN. The effort to develop advanced substrates, as well as to improve conventional substrate properties, is worldwide in scope and includes 80 companies and 65 universities and research centers.

Based on the forecast demand for high-brightness LEDs, blue-violet laser diodes, and high-power, high-frequency electronic devices, the worldwide merchant market (excluding captive producers such as Cree) for substrates for gallium nitride devices is forecast to grow from $280 million in 2008 to $470 million in 2013. Advanced substrates such as gallium nitride and aluminum nitride are predicted to comprise more than 40% of the market in 2013.

The Substrates for GaN-Based Devices: Performance Comparisons and Market Assessment 2009 provides in-depth comparisons of the suitability and performance of substrates (sapphire, silicon carbide, silicon, gallium nitride and aluminum nitride) for different types of GaN-based devices; analysis of the impact of substrate choice on device parameters such as performance, reliability and yield; descriptions of the state of the art in producing advanced substrates; profiles of the leading organizations involved in substrate development and production; and market forecasts of both GaN-based devices and substrates through 2013. The report is available for immediate delivery from Strategies Unlimited for $3,450. More information on the report is available from Tim Carli, Sales Manager, telephone +1 650-941-3438 ext. 23, or e-mail tcarli@strategies-u.com.

Founded in 1979, Strategies Unlimited specializes in market research and strategic consulting directed at the compound semiconductor materials, optoelectronics, and laser industries. The company is a research unit of PennWell Corporation.

For more information, go to www.strategies-u.com.

--Posted by Gail Overton, gailo@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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