Strong Growth Expected for Third-Generation Semiconductors in 2021, with GaN Power Devices Undergoing Highest YoY Increase in Revenue at 90.6%, Says TrendForce

TAIPEI, Taiwan--()--The third-generation semiconductor industry was impaired by the US-China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic successively from 2018 to 2020, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. During this period, the semiconductor industry on the whole saw limited upward momentum, in turn leading to muted growth for the 3rd gen semiconductor segment as well. However, this segment is likely to enter a rapid upturn owing to high demand from automotive, industrial, and telecom applications. In particular, the GaN power device market will undergo the fastest growth, with a $61 million revenue, a 90.6% YoY increase, projected for 2021.

TrendForce expects three factors to drive the rapid growth of the GaN and SiC markets in 2021: First, widespread vaccinations are projected to drastically curb the spread of the pandemic, thereby galvanizing a stable increase in the demand for base station components, as well as for components used in industrial energy transition, such as power inverters and converters. Secondly, as Tesla began adopting SiC MOSFET designs for its in-house inverters used in Model 3 vehicles, the automotive industry has started to place increasing importance on 3rd gen semiconductors. Finally, China will invest enormous capital into its 14th five-year plan starting this year and expand its 3rd gen semiconductor production capacity to ultimately achieve semiconductor independence.

Resurging demand from EV, industrial, and telecom sectors will bring about a corresponding increase in 3rd gen semiconductor device revenue

Although certain foundries, such as TSMC and VIS, have been attempting to manufacture GaN devices with 8-inch wafers, 6-inch wafers are still the mainstream. As the pandemic shows signs of a slowdown, the demand for RF front end in 5G base stations, for smartphone chargers, and for automotive on-board chargers has now gradually risen. As such, total yearly revenue from GaN RF devices is projected to reach US$680 million, a 30.8% increase YoY, in 2021, whereas GaN power device revenue is projected to reach $61 million, which is a 90.6% increase YoY.

In particular, the remarkable increase in GaN power device revenue can primarily be attributed to the release of fast chargers from smartphone brands, such as Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo, starting in 2018. These chargers enjoyed excellent market reception thanks to their effective heat dissipation and small footprint. Some notebook computer manufacturers are currently looking to adopt fast charging technology for their notebook chargers as well. Going forward, TrendForce expects more smartphone and notebook chargers to feature GaN power devices, leading to a peak YoY increase in GaN power device revenue in 2022, after which there will be a noticeable slowdown in its upward trajectory as GaN power devices become widely adopted by charger manufacturers.

On the other hand, 6-inch wafer capacities for SiC devices have been in relative shortage, since SiC substrates are widely used in RF front end and power devices. TrendForce expects yearly SiC power device revenue to reach $680 million, a 32% increase YoY, in 2021. Major substrate suppliers, including Cree, II-VI, and STMicroelectronics, are planning to manufacture 8-inch SiC substrates, but the short supply of SiC substrates will unlikely be resolved until 2022.

For further details of this press release, along with figures showing GaN and SiC power device revenues from 2018 to 2022, please visit:
https://www.trendforce.com/presscenter/news/20210311-10708.html

For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms. Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforce.com

About TrendForce (www.trendforce.com)

TrendForce is a global provider of the latest development, insight, and analysis of the technology industry. Having served businesses for over a decade, the company has built up a strong membership base of 500,000 subscribers. TrendForce has established a reputation as an organization that offers insightful and accurate analysis of the technology industry through five major research departments: Semiconductor Research, Display Research, Optoelectronics Research, Green Energy Research, and ICT Applications Research. Founded in Taipei, Taiwan in 2000, TrendForce has extended its presence in China since 2004 with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing.

Contacts

Ms. Esther Feng
Tel: +886-2-8978-6488 ext. 667
estherfeng@trendforce.com

Ms. Pinchun Chou
Tel: +886-2-8978-6488 ext.669
pinchunchou@trendforce.com

Release Summary

Strong Growth Expected for 3rd Gen Semiconductors in 2021, with GaN Power Devices Undergoing Highest YoY Increase in Revenue at 90.6%, Says TrendForce

Contacts

Ms. Esther Feng
Tel: +886-2-8978-6488 ext. 667
estherfeng@trendforce.com

Ms. Pinchun Chou
Tel: +886-2-8978-6488 ext.669
pinchunchou@trendforce.com