GaAs Wafer and Epiwafer Market: RF, Photonics, LED and PV Applications 2018

Yole Développement

Photonics applications are driving the GaAs wafer and epiwafer market into a new era



  • Market size for GaAs wafer, up to 2023 ($M and units), split by RF, photonics, LED, and PV applications
  • Market size for GaAs epiwafer, up to 2023 ($M and units), split by RF and photonics applications (VCSEL, EELs, etc.)
  • GaAs wafer and epiwafer ASP
  • Description of the industrial landscape covering GaAs wafer suppliers and epiwafer suppliers
  • Outline of RF, photonics, LED, and PV applications
  • MOCVD market estimate



The GaAs photonics market’s remarkable growth potential will offer plenty of value chain opportunities for wafer, epiwafer, and MOCVD equipment suppliers, as well as for investors.

In terms of GaAs wafer supply, Sumitomo Electric, Freiberger Compound Materials, and AXT lead the market with about 95% of market share collectively. And since new laser applications have very high specification requirements for GaAs wafer that are constantly evolving, Yole analysts’ expect the top players to maintain their technical advantage for at least another 3 – 5 years. Meanwhile, Chinese GaAs wafer suppliers like Vital Materials, which have grabbed part of the LED market from the leading suppliers, are expected to increase their share thanks to LED markets.

For GaAs epiwafer production, there are different business models. The GaAs LED market is principally vertically integrated, with very well-established IDMs like Osram, San’an, Epistar, and Changelight. On the other hand, GaAs RF businesses outsource significantly from well-established epihouses. Over the last number of years, the GaAs RF epi business has gone through many consolidations, resulting in four major actors today: IQE, VPEC, Sumitomo Chemicals (including Sumitomo Chemical Advanced Technologies and SCIOCS), and IntelliEPI.

Regarding the GaAs photonics market, the epi business is still applications-dependent. The GaAs datacom market is mostly epi-integrated, with dominant IDMs like Finisar, Avago, and II-VI. For 3D sensing in smartphones, epi outsourcing is significant.

In 2017, Apple’s supplier Lumentum used IQE as its VCSEL epi supplier. This resulted in an almost 10x increase in IQE’s stock price. Other leading GaAs epihouses are in qualification or ramping up. Yole expects the photonic epiwafer market to behave similar to the GaAs RF epiwafer market.

This report provides an overview of the GaAs industrial landscape, covering the value chain from wafer and epitaxy to device. Also, this report outlines Yole Développement’s understanding of the market’s current dynamics and future evolution.

Determination of GaAs wafer and epiwafer market dynamics:

  • Technical description of GaAs wafer growth and epi growth technology
  • Wafer and epi wafer market size and market forecast, in $M and Munits
  • Ecosystem identification and analysis
  • Key players, by market
  • Main technical challenges

Analysis and description of the markets and technologies involved:

  • Technical market segmentation focused on four big applicative markets: RF, Photonics, LED, PV
  • Market trends and forecast
  • Technology trends
  • Major players worldwide

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