TSMC and STMicroelectronics enter the power GaN market

Gallium Nitride (GaN), one of the new stars of the third-generation semiconductor material, is rapidly detonating the market. TSMC announced on February 21 that it has partnered with STMicroelectronics to accelerate market adoption of gallium nitride products. Accelerate the development of gallium nitride (GaN) process technology and bring discrete and integrated GaN devices to market.

PK opponent’s result is KO

In recent years, gallium nitride has entered people’s field of vision as a high-frequency vocabulary.

Since its birth, gallium nitride has fought south and north, whether it is PK silicon carbide (SiC) or gallium arsenide (GaAs), the advantages of GaN as a third-generation semiconductor material are prominent.

① Due to the large band gap and high thermal conductivity, GaN devices can work at high temperatures above 200 °C, can carry higher energy density, and have higher reliability.

TSMC and STMicroelectronics enter the power GaN market

② Its larger band gap and insulation destruction electric field reduce the on-resistance of the device, which is beneficial to improve the overall energy efficiency of the device.

③The fast electron saturation speed and high carrier mobility allow the device to work at high speed.

④ Compared with silicon-based components, the switching speed of gallium nitride components is increased by 10 times, and at the same time, it can operate at a higher maximum temperature.

These powerful material properties make gallium nitride suitable for a wide range of applications in the growing automotive, industrial, telecom, and specific consumer electronics applications in both the 100-volt and 650-volt voltage ranges.

GaN shows stronger potential for cost control. At present, mainstream GaN technology manufacturers are developing Si-based GaN devices to replace expensive SiC substrates.

Since the GaN device is a planar device, it is highly compatible with the existing Si semiconductor process, which makes it easier to integrate with other semiconductor devices.

TSMC and STMicroelectronics enter the power GaN market

TSMC + ST-French cooperation has their own intentions

At present, gallium nitride has been hyped by the market because of Xiaomi chargers. Just recently, TSMC announced that it will cooperate with STMicroelectronics to accelerate the market adoption of GaN products, and STMicroelectronics expects to deliver the first samples later this year. major customers.

GaN has not been popularized before, which is not unrelated to its high price. Now, with the increase in market demand, the realization of large-scale production, and the innovation of process technology, the price of GaN devices is expected to become popular. The popularity of GaN devices also paves the way.

And power gallium nitride and gallium nitride integrated circuit technologies will help accelerate the megatrend of electrification of consumer and commercial vehicles.

TSMC and STMicroelectronics enter the power GaN market

Specifically, compared to silicon technology, power GaN and GaN integrated circuit products have better benefits on the same process and can help STMicroelectronics provide solutions for mid-power and high-power applications. , including converters and chargers for hybrid vehicles.

Compared with silicon technology, power GaN and GaN integrated circuit products have better benefits on the same process, which can help STMicroelectronics provide solutions for mid-power and high-power applications, including applications in Converters and chargers for hybrid vehicles.

This collaboration complements ST’s existing power gallium nitride activities in the Tours region of France and in collaboration with the Electronics and Information Technology Laboratory. Gallium nitride represents the next big innovation in power, smart power electronics, and process technology.

TSMC looks forward to working with STMicroelectronics to bring the application of GaN power electronics into industrial and automotive power conversion.

TSMC’s leading gallium nitride manufacturing expertise combined with ST’s product design and automotive-grade verification capabilities will greatly improve energy-saving benefits, support industrial and automotive power conversion applications, make them more environmentally friendly, and help accelerate vehicle electrification.

TSMC’s gallium nitride manufacturing expertise, combined with ST’s product design and automotive-grade verification capabilities, will greatly improve energy efficiency, support industrial and automotive power conversion applications, make them more environmentally friendly, and help accelerate vehicle electrification.

TSMC and STMicroelectronics enter the power GaN market

Injecting new kinetic energy into future automobile development

As a new type of material, GaN has properties such as wide direct band gap, strong atomic bonds, high thermal conductivity, good chemical stability (hardly corroded by any acid) and strong radiation resistance. High-temperature high-power devices and high-frequency microwave device applications have broad prospects.

As an important member of the third-generation power semiconductor field, GaN, with its high-speed switching capability, streamlined peripheral circuits, and lower power loss, is widely used in 12V and even future 48V automotive battery DC-DC converters and OBC applications. will be of great use.

Power transistor products for GaN systems open up new space for engineers to create the new power electronics required in today’s smart car systems.

With the emergence and popularization of electric driving vehicles, the infrastructure of data centers will be greatly expanded, and the cost of data center energy consumption will become a major problem for many drivers. If it improves its power conversion efficiency, it will save billions of dollars.

TSMC and STMicroelectronics enter the power GaN market

Driven by the increase in the penetration rate of consumer electronics and the rigid demand for 5G infrastructure, the cost of GaN products will drop, and the application scenarios will be further expanded to new energy vehicles, lidars, data centers, etc., thereby stimulating the prosperity of the power semiconductor market.

Gallium nitride market size will rapidly increase

Research firm Yole believes that the market size of gallium nitride power devices in 2022 will be $462 million. Driven by the construction of 5G base stations, the market size of gallium nitride radio frequency devices is expected to exceed US$2 billion by 2024.

Under the call of these broad prospects, the GaN industry chain, including upstream materials (substrate and epitaxy), midstream devices and modules, and downstream systems and applications, will all benefit.

In the international market size of GaN power devices in 2019, the power equipment field accounted for 55%, followed by lidar, accounting for 26%. Other downstream applications such as envelope tracking, wireless power, etc.

In 2019, the domestic market size of GaN power Electronic devices is about 120 million yuan, which is still in the early stage of application product development, but the market space is expected to expand in the future. Under the optimistic market period, the GaN power electronic market size is expected to reach 424 million in 2028. Dollar.

According to statistics, the global gallium nitride substrate market is expected to reach 6.4 billion yuan in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 34% from 2017 to 2022.

Companies that have been actively promoting GaN technology are already well known, such as EPC, GaN Systems, Navitas, Infineon and ON Semiconductor.

Today, more and more companies are entering the market, some are ambitious, and some have their intentions exposed by their patent layout.

The core players with strong technology and patent layout are ready to dominate the power GaN market in the coming years.

TSMC and STMicroelectronics enter the power GaN market

Domestic companies are also actively deploying

In May 2015, the State Council issued “Made in China 2025”. Among them, the third-generation semiconductor power devices represented by silicon carbide and gallium nitride were mentioned 4 times.

So far, four 4/6-inch SiC production/pilot lines and three GaN production/pilot lines have been put into use in China, and several R&D pilot platforms related to third-generation semiconductors are under construction.

In terms of GaN substrates, 2-inch substrates have been produced in small batches in China, with 4-inch substrate production capacity, and 6-inch substrate samples have been developed.

Targets such as Sanan Optoelectronics, Wingtech Technology, and Fuman Electronics received special attention. Among them, on February 3 this year, Sanan Optoelectronics also stated on the investor exchange platform that the company’s current gallium nitride production capacity is about 2,000 pieces per month, and the production capacity is still increasing.

Regarding gallium nitride, Sanan Optoelectronics said that at present, the company’s gallium nitride production capacity is about 2,000 pieces per month, and the production capacity is still increasing.

Sanan’s integrated GaN E-HEMT technology is targeted to serve consumer and industrial applications such as adapters/chargers, telecom/server smps, wireless power supplies, on-board chargers (OBC) and cost-effective solutions. Among them, the capacity planning of the gallium nitride business segment includes an annual output of 7.692 million gallium nitride chips, an annual output of 9.234 million PSS substrates, and an annual output of 1.418 million high-power lasers.

The development problems of domestic gallium nitride

① Wide-bandgap power semiconductors face many technical difficulties, such as the integrity of substrate materials, the quality of epitaxial layers and ohmic contacts, process stability, device reliability, and cost control. The outside world imagines it to be much bigger.

②5G mobile communications, electric vehicles, etc. are the application areas with the most explosive growth potential in the wide-bandgap semiconductor industry. The gap between domestic and foreign countries in the maturity of the industrial ecology is still relatively obvious, and the degree of backwardness is even greater than the degree of backwardness at the technical level.

③ Although my country has made key breakthroughs in some GaN fields, compared with the international leading level, my country’s overall technical level of third-generation semiconductor substrates, epitaxial materials, and devices lags behind by about 3 years.

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With the increasing demand for functional diversity of consumer electronic products, consumers’ demand for fast charging technology is also becoming stronger. Gallium nitride technology can well meet consumers’ needs and consumer experience, which also indicates that this year It may be the year of the explosion of gallium nitride products.

Author: Yoyokuo