The author is an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. – Ed.
In 2021, large companies like Apple and HMC are slated to start rolling out SiC and GaN transistors. We assume that the associated market growth will accelerate seriously.
In 2021, Apple, HMC, and others will begin using compound semiconductors
According to media reports, Apple will introduce a notebook PC charger with a GaN-on-Si transistor this year. Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) recently announced that it will apply inverters with SiC semiconductor equipment to its E-GMP platform. A similar application has begun at other large IT and auto companies. In the future, the growth of the market for SiC and GaN compound semiconductors is likely to accelerate seriously. Among related pieces, we highlight Power Integrations, Cree, Veeco, STMicro, and RFHIC.
Unikorn Semiconductor, a GaN semiconductor foundry company, has announced that it will significantly increase its production of GaN-on-Si chips for chargers in 2021. Currently, TSMC has three to four MOCVD units capable of making 6 inch Epi-GaN wafers, production capacity of 1.5 ~ 2K wpm. Due to the expected growth in orders, the GaN wafer capacity will not be sufficient this year. Further capacity investments are expected accordingly.
Suitable for electric vehicles, solar power generation, and light / thin IT equipment
A compound semiconductor is a semiconductor manufactured using wide band gap (WBG) materials such as SiC and GaN. The band gaps for GaN and 4H-SiC are 3.4 eV and 3.2 eV, respectively, well above the 1.1 eV level of the currently used Si. Compound semiconductors can withstand voltages more than 10 times that of conventional Si-based semiconductors and are also beneficial for the manufacture of light / thin IT equipment.
In the future, we anticipate increased adoption of GaN and SiC semiconductors in inverters for electric vehicles (for converting high-voltage DC battery power for use in AC motors), small and easy-to-carry chargers for IT equipment, and solar power generation applications high switching frequencies in connection with low conductivity and minimal switching loss.