A wafer is a semiconductor material used to manufacturer integrated circuits (ICs). Resistivity is the property of a material that determines how strongly it opposes the flow of electric current. Resistivity of a material is directly proportional to the area of cross-section of the material and inversely proportional to the length of the material. The unit of resistivity is ohm-cm. Silicon is the most widely used material to manufacturer wafer. High resistivity wafers or ultra-high resistivity silicon wafers have same resistivity throughout the wafer, acceptable axial and radial resistivity gradients and resistivity of silicon remains unchanged throughout device processing. Normal polished wafers have resistivity in the range 5 mohm-cm to 30 ohm-cm. High resistivity wafer have resistivity range from 40 ohm-cm to 1000 ohm-cm or more. High resistivity wafers are manufactured through float zone growth technology. The characteristics of high resistivity wafer depends on crystal growth and control of oxygen.
There is a rising demand for safety and security in in hospitals, hotels, offices, airports among others and this is expected to increase demand for infrared (IR) detectors and subsequently will increase demand for high resistivity wafers. Rising demand for the consumer electronics devices including smartphone, smart watches, tablets, smart TVs among others is expected to increase demand for IR detectors and subsequently will increase demand for high resistivity wafers. Rising transition from 2G mobile technology to 3G and 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology and Wi-Fi market are expected to increase demand for high resistivity silicon-on-insulator (HR-SOI) of majority 200mm diameter wafers of reducing cost and increasing RF front-end module performance of mobile wireless devices. HR-SOI wafers enable users to use multiple LTE carriers together, providing more data speed among other facilities thus increasing its demand. Rising shift to multi-mode and multi-band functionality in mobile phones and growth of W-Fi are increasing the demand for SOI enable solutions and subsequently will increase demand for high resistivity wafers. Soitec has launched a new high resistivity second generation wafer in radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF-SOI) family called eSI90 (enhanced Signal Integrity) substrate. eSI90 helps in improving a 10-decibel (dB) improvement in RF front-end modules of mobile phones for LTE technology. Rising demand of high energy particle detectors in nuclear power plants is increasing the demand for high resistivity wafers. There is a huge opportunity to use high resistivity wafer in wireless chip design, improving performance of passive electronic devices such as inductors. Opportunity to manufacturer HR-SOI of 300mm wafer diameter. One of the major restrain for high resistivity wafer is the lack of demand as the technology is still in the research and development stage. Another major restrain of high resistivity wafer is to control oxygen during manufacturing of these wafers.
The market when segmented by end use industries, security systems, consumer electronics, healthcare, are infrared (IR) detectors, terahertz systems, x-ray mirrors, silicon lenses, power electronics, telecommunication and others. Rising demand for telecommunication industry is expected to increase demand for high resistivity wafers.
The market when segmented by geography are North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Latin America. Asia Pacific is expected to be fastest growing high resistivity wafer market due to the presence of large telecommunication market in China, India, largest consumer electronics market and increase in manufacturing capacity.
Some of the major firms in laser diode driver market are Sun Edison Semiconductor (the U.S.), Topsil Semiconductor Materials A/S (Denmark), Okmetic Oy (Finland), Sumco (Japan), LG Siltron AG (Germany), Wafer Works (Taiwan), Nor East Materials Inc. (the U.S), SVM (Silicon Valley Microelectronics) (the U.S), Atecom Tech. Co. (Taiwan), Soitec (France), Shin Etsu (the U.S.) among others.
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