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Bulk GaN Substrate Market 2017

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Laser diodes and high-brightness LEDs are driving the bulk GaN substrate market.

Optoelectronics applications are driving the bulk GaN substrate market

Optoelectronics applications, particularly GaN-based laser diodes and GaN-on-GaN LEDs, are expected to drive the bulk GaN substrate market from 2016 - 2022.

Specific to the laser diode market, the Blu-ray segment, which in the past was the GaN-based laser industry’s main driver, continues to decline. In recent years, a much greater percentage of movies were viewed via streaming than on optical discs, and in many cases flash memory is replacing optical discs and magnetic storage. The current crop of mobile phones, netbooks, tablets, and even laptops lack a Blu-ray/DVD/CD drive. UHD Blu-ray’s recent development is expected to have only a novelty effect on sales - not enough to reverse the general downward trend we will see in the coming years. However, decreasing Blu-ray demand is expected to be offset by nascent, growing segments like projectors (office projector, mobile pico projector, head-up display (HUD), etc.) and automotive lighting, leading to new growth opportunities for bulk GaN substrates.

In the LED market, improvements in GaN substrate manufacturing have lowered substrate prices enough for various niche LED applications. In addition to Soraa (US) and Panasonic (JP), this seems to have revived the interest of other LED manufacturers which are beginning to seriously consider using GaN substrates for either spotlighting or automotive lighting. New GaN-on-GaN LED players are expected in the market in the coming years.

In this context, we expect laser diodes and LEDs to drive continuous growth of bulk GaN substrate demand. This report provides a complete summary of GaN laser diode and GaN-on-GaN market data, including Blu-ray, laser office projectors, pico-projectors, HUD, automotive lighting, and more. Our report also conveys a detailed analysis of GaN-on-GaN power and RF applications.

Bulk GaN substrates Targeted applications from Yole report 

Japanese players are dominating the bulk GaN subStrate market

In 2016 the bulk GaN substrate market was estimated at about 60K wafers (Two Inch Equivalent (TIE)). Essentially all commercial GaN wafers are produced by hydride vapor-phase epitaxy (HVPE) technology, but details of the growth process and separation techniques vary by company. Other techniques, such as Na-flux or Ammonothermal, are still under development. We still don’t see large volume of these wafers on the market. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR 2017 - 2022 of 10% and reach more than 100M$ in 2022.

The current GaN substrate market is heavily concentrated. More than 85% share is held by three Japanese firms (Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI), Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC), and Sciocs). Other Japanese and non-Japanese players are still in small-volume production or at the R&D stage, and it is too early for them to challenge these market leaders.

This report furnishes an overview of the bulk GaN substrates playing field. It also outlines Yole Développement’s understanding of the market’s current dynamics and future evolution, covering technical and economic aspects.

Bulk GaN wafer market volume Yole report 

GaN-on-GaN technology amongst different GaN-related technologies

In the past, due to technical complexities, limited availability, and the high cost of native bulk GaN substrates for homoepitaxial growth, different foreign substrates were used to develop GaN-based devices for diverse applications:

  • GaN-on-sapphire was widely developed, benefiting from the LED industry’s growth over the past 25 years (the first GaN-on-sapphire LEDs hit the market in the 1990s). Sapphire wafer pricing has eroded significantly in the same period, and GaN-on-sapphire remains the dominant technology for LED applications.
  • GaN-on-SiC was among the first to be studied. Today the technology is widely used for GaN RF device manufacturing and LED manufacturing.
  • GaN-on-silicon arrived naturally, breaking the cost-point and making GaN an affordable technology. However, it faced a host of technical challenges, i.e. high lattice mismatch and high thermal expansion coefficient (TEC) mismatch. Academia and industry have invested heavily to resolve these technical issues, and today GaN-on-silicon is gradually being commercialized, particularly for power electronics applications.
  • Many other materials, i.e. polycrystalline AlN substrates, were proposed as an attractive alternative thanks to a more closely matched coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) with GaN. Other, more foreign materials (diamond, Ge, and ZnO) have also been studied, but these remain mostly in the R&D stage.

On the other hand, development of bulk GaN substrates was happening in parallel with other substrates. The progress of GaN substrates – specifically, wafer size/quality increase and wafer cost reduction – sees GaN-on-GaN technology entering more and more optoelectronic applications, and possibly electronics applications in the future.

This report confirms Yole Développement’s understanding of GaN-on-GaN technology’s maturity and its implementation in different applications (laser diode, LED, power electronics, and RF).

GaN related technology Positioning overview Yole report 

what's new

  • Revisit and update Yole Développement’s laser diode segments, including different laser display/imaging technologies and laser-based lighting
  • Update GaN-on-GaN LED segments
  • In-depth analysis of GaN-on-GaN power device potential
  • Overview of the RF GaN market and semi-insulating GaN substrates



Table of contents

What is in this report? 4


Executive summary  5

GaN-related technology
2016 - 2022 GaN-based laser diode market
2016 - 2022 GaN wafer volume for LED applications
GaN-on-GaN power in the hype cycle
Suggested vertical GaN devices - Development roadmap
Bulk/FS GaN substrates market - Price trend
2016 - 2022 GaN substrate volume (TIE per year and $M)
Bulk GaN target applications
GaN substrates - Players overview
Main players and their activities  
Bulk GaN substrate market - Share estimate
Bulk GaN growth methods
Comparison with Yole Développement’s previous forecast


GaN-based laser diode market 34

Bulk GaN target applications
Blu-ray market
Blu-ray technology
Laser display/imaging market
Cinema projector light - Source comparison
Laser display/imaging
Direct green laser diode
Laser diode for laser display/imaging
Laser display and imaging equipment - market forecast
Laser lighting market
Laser lighting - Target applications
Laser automotive lighting
GaN-based laser diode market
Major GaN laser diode players and their diode wavelength
2016 - 2022 GaN-based laser diode market
2016 - 2022 GaN wafer for laser diode applications


High-Brightness LED market 75

LED industry status: 2015 - 2016
LED market
2011 - 2021 total substrate surface for LED
Different substrates for LED - overview
GaN substrates - benefits
GaN-on-GaN LED
Impact of substrate choice on LED cost
GaN substrate market for LED applications
GaN substrate adoption
GaN-on-GaN LED market
2016 - 2022 GaN wafer volume for LED applications


Power electronics market 98

GaN power devices
GaN power electronic devices
GaN wafer: added-value
GaN-on-GaN power devices
Gan substrate quality and device
Potential issues in the GaN-on-GaN device process
GaN-on-GaN power devices
USA ARPA-E PROJECT - selection
US ARPA-E PNdioded program
Japan SIP next-generation power electronics program
GaN-on-GaN power device
Cost comparison
Comparison of Si, SiC, and GaN-on-GaN power devices
GaN-on GaN power in the hype cycle
Suggested vertical GaN device development roadmap

RF market 123

Gan for RF applications and its added-value
GaN RF device market
Application - RF
Semi-insulating GaN substrates


GaN substrate manufacturing technology 128

Bulk GaN
GaN substrate - Time evolution of patent publications
GaN substrates - Manufacturing
Growth methods
Electrochemical solution growth (ESG) (US)
Growth methods
Separation techniques for FS wafers
Non-polar/semi-polar substrates
Non-polar/semi-polar substrate examples
Potential low-cost/large-size GaN substrate solutions
GaN-engineered substrate via Smart Cut ™
Engineered substrate alternatives
7-inch pseudo-single-crystal GaN


GaN substrates - Market playground 155

GaN substrate players
Players - Main specifications
Non-polar and semi-polar substrate players and specifications  
Focus on main players and their activities
Bulk GaN substrate - Market share estimate
Beyond Ammono’s bankruptcy


GaN substrates - Market forecast and discussions 170

Bulk/FS GaN substrates - Market price trend
GaN wafer size evolution assumption - LED applications
GaN wafer size evolution assumption - Laser diode applications
Time-to-market for bulk GaN in different applications
2016 - 2022 GaN substrate volume (TIE per year and $M)
Bulk GaN target applications


General conclusions 180


Companies cited

Ammono Avogy
Fuji Electric
GaN Systems
LG Electronics
Mitsubishi Chemical
Mitsubishi Electric
NGK Insulators

Osram Opto Semiconductors
Seoul Semiconductor
Sino Nitride
Sumitomo SEI
Texas Instruments

































































  • Detailed discussion about the GaN-based laser diodes market, including different sub-segments like Blu-ray, laser lighting, and laser display/image equipment
  • GaN-on-GaN LED added-values and market forecast
  • Comprehensive analysis of GaN-on-GaN power devices
  • State-of-the-art bulk GaN manufacturing technologies
  • Market players for bulk GaN wafer
  • 2016 - 2022 bulk GaN wafer market (TIE per year, $M, diameter transition (2” to 4”))