Gallium nitride (GaN), a wide band gap semiconductor material, is a new technology compared to other semiconductor devices, such as gallium arsenide (GaAS) and silicon carbide (SiC). GaN industrial devices offer an advantage with regards to thermal performance, efficiency, weight and size. This wide band gap semiconductor technology has matured rapidly over the years. In fact, Mobility Transistors made of Gallium Nitride High Electron (GaN HEMTs) have been available as commercial off-the-shelf devices since 2005.
Major applications of GaN semiconductor devices are in automotive, information and military, defense, aerospace, communication technology, and power distribution systems among others. In addition, GaN is widely used in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), radio frequency devices, and power electronics, due to GaN’s ability to operate at high frequency and high temperature. The market for GaN industrial devices is segmented into five geographic regions which include North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa and Latin America. The market is primarily driven by increase in application areas and growing demand from the military sector.
Power electronic sector has a huge implementation of GaN devices because of its capacity to prevent energy loss. Due to increasing demand for high performance amplifiers in wireless networks, transistors available today have reduced amplifier stages that help lower wireless systems’ DC power requirements, thereby generating less heat. However, such transistors fail to meet the linearity required by existing and next generation wireless networks. Better power density of GaN HEMTs facilitates the creation of small sized amplifiers that contain augmented output power and efficiency. Hence, GaN HEMT devices help power amplifiers for wireless systems and meet the desired efficiency needed for 4G networks such as WCDMA, UMTS and WiMAX. Due to increased output power and extended temperature tolerance, GaN HEMTs have appeared to be a promising candidate for electronic warfare, wireless communications and microwave power applications. Technological advancements, growing applications in new markets and increase in bandwidth requirement by mobile users are expected to drive the growth of GaN HEMTs in the future.
The major drivers GaN power devices are increasing demand for high power and high temperature applications has led to the increase in usage of GaN industrial devices. Due to accelerated improvement in GaN technology, many companies are coming up with new innovative products that are cost-effective and have better design and performance. These devices are widely used in radio frequency amplifiers, high voltage applications and LEDs among others, primarily due to their abilities to operate at high frequency, power density, and temperature with improved efficiency and linearity. Such innovations have greatly increased the demand for GaN devices in various application areas. Moreover, big players of the GaN industry have been utilizing economies of scale to meet the rising demand for GaN industrial devices. Bigger players tend to acquire smaller companies to expand their product portfolio and increase business around the globe. Considering all these factors, the impact of this driver is high currently and is expected to remain high in the future. Moreover, growth in sectors such as automotive, military, consumer electronics and ICT have been the key influencers. Rapid economic growth coupled with significant monetary aspects are driving large number of investors to emerge in the market for GaN industrial devices. Considering all these factors, the impact of this driver is analyzed to be medium currently and is expected to become high during the forecast period. However high cost of pure GaN (Gallium Nitride) is acting as a major restraint of the power GaN market globally
The global power GaN market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World. North America led the power GaN market followed by Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World.
The major players in this industry are Fujitsu Limited (Japan), Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (U.S.), International Rectifier (U.S.), and Renesas Electronics Corporation (Japan) among others.
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