RF GaN Technology & Market Analysis: Applications, Players, Devices & Substrates 2010-2020
- ID: 2877796
- June 2014
- Region: Global
- Yole Développement
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR GAN TO REACH MORE MAINSTREAM APPLICATIONS UNDER 3.5GHZ?
Today, the need for high-power, high-frequency transistors is increasing steadily, commensurate with the huge demand for wireless telecommunications.
More power, more frequency bands, better linearity and improved efficiency are still driving RF semiconductor devices' current development, since the market needs devices able to handle all of these specifications at a reasonable price.
Recent mergers and acquisitions are a concern for the overall RF market and Si-LDMOS, GaAs and GaN-based devices. The overall RF market doesn't seem big enough for so many players; as a result, companies are trying to gain scale in order to increase profitability, which has stagnated. We expect that commercial wireless telecom, CATV and defense applications will be the main applications affected.
Although significant improvements have been achieved in RF GaN-based devices (performance and yields), there's still a barrier preventing GaN-on-SiC from entering mainstream applications (i.e. in wireless telecom base stations or CATV). In sub-3.5 GHz range applications, GaN-on-SiC is not cost-effective enough vs. Si-LDMOS, resulting in low market penetration rates. Macom and IQE believe they will enter mass production using 6” and 8” GaN-on-Si substrates in two years. IQE will offer Macom a significant mass production level due to its existing production for other applications. Our analysis shows that GaN-on-Si could be implemented in 2 - 5 years within telecom base stations, Milcomm & CATV. In this optimistic scenario, RF GaN-based devices could see an increased penetration rate and reach more than 20 % of the overall RF device market by 2020.
This report is providing all the analysis on the applications, technical challenges and strategic initiatives related to the implementation of RF GaN for volume production.
FROM DEFENSE TO MAINSTREAM APPLICATIONS - RF GAN TECHNOLOGY CONTINUES TO BE ADOPTED FOR COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Over the last several years, the silicon LDMOS coverage of high-power RF amplification applications in the 2GHz+ frequency range has decreased from 92% to 76%; the remaining 24% market share is mainly addressed by technologies such as GaAs pHEMT or HEMTs GaN. This equilibrium continues to be turned around by GaN HEMTs implementation. GaN HEMTs in wireless telecommunications is a higher-power and higher-frequency transistors alternative. From a system point of view, GaN is cost-competitive in applications over 3.5GHz. GaN devices continue to challenge silicon's dominant position in an industrial playground in which a Power Amplifier (PA) market size of $1600M+ is forecasted for 2020.
Today, several companies (i.e. CREE, Triquint/RFMD, Sumitomo, RFHIC, MACOM/Nitronex, Mitsubishi, NXP, Microsemi) have GaN device portfolios covering a wide range of applications. GaN has progressed significantly over the last five years; several thousand devices have been developed and implemented in applications such as radar, CATV, space applications with satellite communication, counter-IED jammers, CATV modules, 3G/4G base-stations, WIMAX/LTE PAs and general purpose applications.
In our nominal case, RF GaN-based devices could reach more than 18% of the overall RF device market by 2020 (i.e. a 9 % CAGR from 2013-2020). More details per application, type of devices, business models, etc. can be found in the report.
GAN DEVICES OFFER AN IMPRESSIVE LIST OF ADDED VALUES OVER INCUMBENT SOLUTIONS SUCH AS SI-LDMOS AND GAAS HEMT
GaN offers better power capability and linearity compared with commonly-used pure silicon or GaAs-based technologies, enabling higher performance and lower overall system costs.
- lower operating costs
- improved module power density and size
- reduced cost of ownership
Higher bandwidth and linearity:
- more versatile devices
- fewer devices needed to cover the entire frequency spectrum
- cost savings at the development stage
Higher polarization voltage:
- lower current level for the same power output
- fewer losses from the joule effect, leading to cost savings in thermal management
Higher junction temperature:
- more robust devices, leading to improved expected lifetime and mean time to failure (MTTF)
- reduced cooling system demands, leading to cost savings at the system level (BTS)
The report is evaluating such added value, in addition to the production cost of GaN-based devices today and within 5 years. The production cost impact at system level of the use of RF GaN devices is also analysed in details, in order to understand what are the added costs at device level and the cost savings at system and module level.
KEY FEATURES OF THE REPORT
Covers RF GaN device technology:
- RF GaN market analysis
- Commercially-available products overview
- RF GaN substrates overview
- Industrial landscape
RF GaN HEMT applications (Wireless telecom, CATV, VSat, Satcom, Defence)
Discussion on adoption of RF GaN-on-Si and GaN-on-SiC technologies in targeted applications
Volume and revenue forecasts to 2020
OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
The objectives of the report are to:
- Review the technological challenges and solutions for GaN-based Power RF devices
- Provide a comprehensive overview of the GaN-based Power RF devices playground
- Provide an in-depth analysis of the technological and cost aspects of GaN-based Power RF devices
- Discuss possible business models for a broader adoption of GaN-based Power RF devices
- Evaluate market volume and market size up to 2020 SHOW LESS READ MORE >
2. Companies cited in this report
3. Report objectives
4. Executive summary
5. Latest news
6. GaN RF device market analysis
- Technology comparison of RF PAs
- Technology drivers for GaN electronics
- Why so many mergers and acquisitions?
- Applications for GaN devices in RF electronic systems
- Technology drivers and figure of merit for GaN
- Market landscape
- GaN device applications roadmap
- Market evolution: two scenarios under consideration
- GaN RF device market breakdown
- Analysis of the two scenarios
- 2010-2020 GaN RF device market size
- Conclusions and perspectives
7. RF GaN HEMT overview
- GaN and Silicon FET structure comparison
- State-of-the-art comparison of GaN-on-Si high-power RF transistors in 2014
- GaN/SiC/Si/GaAs high-power RF transistors comparison
- Microwave frequency bands: comparison of Si, SiGe, GaAs, InP and GaN frequency and Vb ranges
- Examples of available offers in 2014 power RF GaN devices
- Examples of Triquint's (merged with RFMD) offer in GaN HEMT (S.I. SiC)
- Examples of GaN HEMT portfolio in 2014
- Company profiles: Cree (US), Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations (JP), MACOM (US), Nitronex (US - Acquired by MACOM), RF Micro Devices, Inc. (RFMD® (US - Merged with TriQuint), Skyworks (US), UMS (FR/GE)
- Tentative cost breakdown of HEMT process GaN/SiC (4”, 6” and 8”) from substrate to devices
8. GaN substrates overview
- GaN-on-XX: technology comparison - is there a place for GaN-on-Si and GaN-on-Diamond-based RF Power devices?
- GaN-on-XX Epiwafer - expected specs
- GaN Epiwafer - usage, technical feasibility and manufacturing cost
- Different substrates for GaN epitaxy, i.e. “direct epi-growth”
- GaN-on Si: comparison of epitaxy techniques
- Semi-insulating (SI) GaN substrates
- Known semi-insulating substrates players
- 4” epi-wafer needs for the GaN-based RF devices market: 2010–2020 (“Nominal” scenario)
- Tentative forecast for RF GaN epiwafer market size: 2010–2020 (“Nominal” scenario)
- 4” epi-wafer needs for the GaN-based RF devices market: 2010–2020 (“Optimistic” scenario)
- Tentative forecast for 4” epi-wafer volume for RF GaN-on-Si FET: 2010-2020
9. GaN RF devices industrial landscape
- Tentative global players in GaN RF business (R&D or production)
- Mapping: US foundries for Power RF GaN-based devices
- Mapping: European foundries for Power RF GaN-based devices Mapping: Asian foundries for Power RF GaN-based devices
- GaN RF business: company market share estimation
- RF GaN: tentative American industrial supply chain
- RF GaN: Tentative European industrial supply chain
- RF GaN: Tentative Japanese industrial supply chain
- RF GaN: Tentative Asian industrial supply chain (Japan excluded)
10. GaN HEMT markets
- Wireless phone infrastructure: base stations (BTS) market
- CATV market
- V-SAT terminals market
- Satellite market
- Defense market
11. Recent known funding in RF GaN development
12. General conclusions
- BAE Systems
- Covalent Materials
- Flarion Technologies
- Freiburg/Univ. Ulm/Fraunhofer IAF
- Global Communication Semiconductors
- HRL Lab.
- II-VI Inc.
- LG Plus
- Lockheed Martin
- MTI Corporation
- NGK Insulators
- Northrop Grumman
- NTT DOCOMO
- On Semiconductor
- Renesas Elec.
- SAAB Microwave
- Samsung Electronic Mechanics
- SK Telecom
- Sumitomo Electric Devices Innovation
- Suzhou Jiangzhan Semiconductor
- Thales 3-5 lab.
- US Air Force Laboratory
- WIN Semiconductors.