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Bulk Gallium Nitride Costs to Fall 60% by 2020, Leading to More Efficient Devices
Lux Research finds that gallium nitride substrates can displace cheaper silicon by offering 360% to 380% better performance
BOSTON, MA – November 6, 2012 – Wide-band-gap semiconductor materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) offer far higher performance than traditional silicon but cost significantly more. However, by 2020 GaN costs will drop enough for it to become competitive based on performance gains, according to a Lux Research report.
Bulk GaN is very expensive today, costing about $1,900 or more for a two-inch substrate, compared with $25 to $50 for a far larger six-inch silicon substrate. But GaN materials offer higher efficiencies than silicon, leading to greater energy savings in devices like power electronics, laser diodes, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These gains can offset cost disadvantages – the price-to-performance ratio is the key to adoption.
“The future of bulk GaN is going to come down to how it faces off against silicon substrates,” said Pallavi Madakasira, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Price or Performance: Bulk GaN Vies with Silicon for Value in LEDs, Power Electronics and Laser Diodes.” “Bulk GaN wins in laser diodes and it can become relevant in LEDs and power electronics by boosting yield and performance.”
Lux Research analysts broke down the manufacturing costs for ammonothermal and hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) processes for making bulk GaN, as well as for GaN epitaxy on both silicon and GaN substrates, and determined where the price/performance trade-off will land. Among their findings:
The report, titled “Price or Performance: Bulk GaN Vies with Silicon for Value in LEDs, Power Electronics and Laser Diodes,” is part of the Lux Research Energy Electronics Intelligence service.
About Lux Research
Lux Research provides strategic advice and on‐going intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit www.luxresearchinc.com for more information.