Rising Application across Defense and Military Sectors to Bolster Demand for GaN Semiconductor Devices

As compared to silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium arsenide (GaAS), gallium nitride (GaN) is a novel technology. GaN semiconductor devices have been gaining popularity because they provide competitive advantage in terms of efficiency, thermal performance, weight, and size. GaN is projected to emerge as the next generation power semiconductor and thus several countries worldwide are engaged in developing extensive applications of GaN semiconductors. 

Gallilium nitride high electron mobility transistors (GaN HEMTs) have been commercially available as off-the-shelf devices since 2005. Recently the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center in Europe organized a program on GaN-on-Si to produce 8 inch GaN-on-So wafer. On the downside, despite being around for more than a decade, the fully-fledged application of semiconductor devices is still at a nascent stage as compared to other semiconductor devices available in the market. 

According to Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global GaN semiconductor devices market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 17.0% between 2016 and 2024 to reach US$3.4 bn by the end of 2024. The market’s valuation stood at US$870.9 mn in 2015. 

Q: Which segments will prove most lucrative for global GaN semiconductor devices market? 

A: Among the key end-use sectors, the defense and aerospace industry has emerged as the leading revenue contributors to the global GaN semiconductor devices market. The industry held over 40% of the global market in 2015. GaN based transistors are currently witnessing exponential demand across diverse applications in the defense industry. For instance, their increasing use in electronic warfare, improvised explosive device jammers, and radar communication will significantly aid the expansion of the GaN semiconductor devices market. Consistently, the increasing allotment to defense budgets around the world, especially in developing countries, will help fortify the trend. 

Leading companies are exploring potential markets and new application areas of GaN semiconductors, which is expected to give momentum to the GaN semiconductor devices market in the near future. For instance, TMR expects the medical industry to emerge as a key end user of the market in forthcoming years. Furthermore, the market is also expected to gain impetus from the recent discoveries confirming the safe usage of GaN in biomedical implants. 

Q: Which regions will prove highly lucrative for the global GaN semiconductor devices market? 

A: Regionally, North America commands the dominant position in the global GaN semiconductor devices market. By revenue, the region accounted for over 30% of the global market in 2015. Over the forthcoming years, the market is expected to witness lucrative opportunities in North America, primarily driven by the increasing application of GaN semiconductors across the defense and military sectors. Considering the rising demand for LEDs in consumer electronics products such as gaming devices, laptops, smartphones, and others, the market for GaN semiconductor devices is poised to expand in the region. 

Europe trails North America in terms of the size of the GaN semiconductor devices market. Recently, the European Space Agency (ESA) has founded an initiative called GaN reliability enhancement and technology transfer (GREAT2) to focus on manufacturing efficient GaN devices for various space applications in the future. Such initiatives augur well for the global GaN semiconductor devices market. 


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