GaN power electronics revenue to top $1bn by 2014?

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Gallium nitride (GaN) Power Electronics will top $1billion in revenue by 2014, due to a cross fertilisation with the led industry, according to market analyst Yole Développement.

In its Power GaN – 2012 edition report, Yole states that the GaN power device industry has probably generated less than $2.5million revenues in 2011, as only two companies (IRF and EPC) are selling products on the open market. However, the overall GaN activity has seen extra revenues as R&D contracts, qualification tests and sampling for qualified customers were extremely buoyant. In the short term, Yole believes IRF and EPC will likely remain the two main vendors of GaN power devices on the open market in early 2012, while the market is likely to stay below $10m for devices, with the rest being made through R&D sales. According to Yole, 2013 could signal the transition from qualification to production ramp up for several new entrants and the device market could reach the £50m threshold. In 2014 Yole forecasts that most of these new entrants will ramp up capacity and by 2015 availability and adoption of qualified 600V+GaN devices should see the market grow quickly, opening doors for non consumer applications. In 2015, the analyst believes 12 to 15 players will share the consumption of more than 100,000 x 6in (equiv) epiwafers. "Beyond that, if GaN is qualified in the EV/HEV sector, GaN device business could top the billion dollar line and the GaN on Si substrate market could exceed $300m revenues by 2019," said Dr Philippe Roussel, business unit manager, Power Electronics at Yole. However, Roussel added that it's still unclear how car makers will choose between SiC, GaN or the current silicon technology.