GaAs wafer (Gallium Arsenide) is an advantageous alternative to silicon that has been evolving in the semiconductor industry. Less power consumption and more efficiency offered by this GaAs wafers are attracting the market players to adopt these wafers, thereby increasing the demand for GaAs wafer. Generally, this wafer is used to manufacture semiconductors, light emitting diodes, thermometers, electronic circuits, and barometers, besides finding application in the manufacturing of low melting alloys. As the semiconductor and electronic circuit industries continue to touch new peaks, the GaAs market is booming. Gallium arsenide of GaAs wafer has the power of generating laser light from electricity. Especially polycrystalline and single crystal are the two major type of GaAs wafers, which are utilized in the production of both the microelectronics and optoelectronics to create LD, LED, and microwave circuits. Therefore, the extensive range of GaAs applications, particularly in optoelectronics and microelectronics industry is creating a demand influx in the GaAs Wafer Market. Previously, the optoelectronic devices were mainly used on a broad range in short-range optical communications and computer peripherals. But now, they are in demand for some emerging applications such as LiDAR, augmented reality, and face recognition. LEC and VGF are two popular methods which are improving the production of GaAs wafer with high uniformity of electrical properties and excellent surface quality. Electron mobility, single junction band-gap, higher efficiency, heat and moisture resistance, and superior flexibility are the five distinct advantages of GaAs, which are improving the acceptance of GaAs wafers in the semiconductor industry. All the factors mentioned above are driving the global GaAs wafer market demand. As a consequence, the global GaAs wafer market size was at $2.1 million in 2018, and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.81% through to 2025.
Gallium arsenide is a flexible semiconductor compound, which is effectively used even in very thin layers of GaAs solar. Therefore, GaAs is highly adapted in the manufacturing of solar cells, as it lowers the whole weight of the solar material, and this application is also supporting the GaAs wafer market. GaAs has great resistance to the damage from radiation, moisture, and ultraviolet light. Thus, it has been chosen as an excellent choice for aerospace applications, in which there exists a necessity to handle increased UV and radiation. Currently, GaAs is the solar material with the highest efficiency, which is available worldwide, because it produces additional power for a given surface area compared to any other solar technology. Therefore, it has become an optimal choice for aircraft, cars and small satellites with limited surface areas. The low light performance of GaAs has enabled solar cells to perform even in the presence of low light. Hence, GaAs can perform at high levels even when the amount of light available is low.
GaAs is one of the most mature compounds of semiconductors, appearing as the building block of power amplifiers in every single mobile handset. The saturation of the mobile handset industry is raising the GaAs wafer market revenue. 3D sensing in mobile phone and LiDAR applications gained huge attention from GaAs substrates suppliers, in which it replicates the 3D map of surroundings especially for autonomous vehicles and robotics. These applications use high-power and large-size GaAs-based edge-emitting laser devices, and assists for an increment in the GaAs photonics wafer market revenue. Hence, application of GaAs wafer in the Photonics set to grow at a staggering CAGR of 35.40% during the forecast period 2019-2025. Additionally, incorporation of 3D sensors by Android-based smartphones makers along with the Apple's implementation of True Depth facial recognition system in its new iPhone X is boosting photonics application segment of the global GaAs wafer market. In wafer and EPIwafer business, each application needs a diverse size and quality while defining prices. Photonics, a new entrant application is creating a significant diversity in average selling price (ASP) by demanding new specification requirements compared to RF and LED wafers and EPI wafers. Furthermore, this remarkable growth in the GaAs photonics market is providing a huge number of opportunities for wafer, EPI wafer & metal-organic chemical vapor deposition equipment suppliers, and investors.
GaAs Wafer Market Dominated by APAC Region:
APAC region had established the leading share of 42.84% in the global GaAs market during FY18. Increased focus of Chinese companies in manufacturing 4 and 6 inches GaAs based VCSEL EPI-wafers is boosting the use of these wafers in both 3D and data communication applications. Taiwan players particularly GaAs wafers suppliers and vertical-cavity surface emitting laser components manufacturers are collectively growing the GaAs market value in this region. Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and China are the four major importers of chemical elements and compounds doped for use in electronics, in the form of discs, wafers, cylinders, rods. These four countries occupied a share of 56.1% in the world imports as of 2018.
Major Players in GaAs Wafer Market Include:
Mitsubishi Chemical, DOwa Electronics, Sumitomo Electric, AXT, Freiberg Compound Materials, Advanced Wireless Semiconductor, IQE, Win Semiconductors, Global Communication Semiconductors, Intelligent Epitaxy Technology, VPEC, and Vital Materials are some of the primary players which are operative in the global gallium arsenide wafer market. These companies are focusing on production capacity expansion and partnership to strengthen their portfolio and their stable existence in respective geographies.
Recent Advancements in GaAs Wafer Marketplace:
· In May 2017, WIN Semiconductors Corporation completed its phase 2 production capacity expansion of newest wafer fabrication in Taiwan. This increased GaAs wafer manufacturing capacity by 20% is obtained with the usage of efficient process lines and advanced equipment for GaAs MMIC production. This company is famous for producing gallium arsenide microwave integrated circuits (GaAs MMIC) on six-inch wafers, with the help of advanced GaAs microwave transistor and integrated circuit manufacturing technology and production equipment. This expansion will boost WIN Semiconductors Corporation’s share in the GaAs wafer market.
· EV Group (EVG), is a prominent supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment, and the company bear a good brand value in the GaAs wafer market. Ningbo Semiconductor International Corporation (NSI), is a pure-play semiconductor foundry. In March 2019, EVG announced its partnership with NSI in China. This business strategy is targeted to develop the industry's first process technology platform that deals with wafer-level heterogeneous integration of gallium arsenide (GaAs) on silicon. It is primarily used in the RF front-end module (FEM) making, which is ultimately helpful in the development of next-generation, high-performance, and ultra-compact RF front-end chipsets, that are highly in demand for 4G and 5G smartphones and other handsets.
· G-ray Nanotech is a start-up, which is presently engaged in developing ultra-high performance detectors related to industrial non-destructive testing solutions, and the organization is gradually gaining prominence in the GaAs wafer market. IKZ is one of the world-leading institutes in the material sciences field. In February 2019, G-ray Nanotech and IKZ have stepped into a research and development collaboration. This collaboration is more focused aimed towards the doping of GaAs structures and in the manufacturing of high purity crystals in wafer form factor, which are majorly useful for detector applications.
· Intensifying sales of VCSELs coupled with the rise in use for 3D sensing and gesture recognition applications specifically in smartphones are stimulating photonics to hold larger share in the IQEs revenue in the near future. IQE announced that the capability of 6-inch GaAs diameter wafer is enabling its customers and also helpful in reducing the unit cost of VCSEL chips as well, thereby accelerating the adoption of this technology. As a result, this EPI wafer foundry associated with the expansion of production capacity for VCSEL at its new site Newport. There is a sharp growth in the production through EPI layer deposition on 6-inch gallium arsenide (GaAs) semiconductor wafers at this Newport foundry. It is enabling the Newport plant as the principal outsourced epitaxial facility for advanced compound semiconductors all over the world. This is an evidence of how smartphones are influencing the position of players in the GaAs wafer market.
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