The masse adoption of GaN on Si technology for LED applications remains uncertain. Opinions regarding the chance of success for LED-On-Si vary widely in the LED industry from unconditional enthusiasm to unjustified skepticism. Although significant improvements have been achieved, there are still some technology hurdles (such as performance, yields, CMOS compatibility, etc.).
The differential in substrate
cost itself is not enough to justify the transition to GaN on Si
technology. The main driver lies in the ability to manufacture in
existing, depreciated CMOS fabs in 6” or 8”. For Yole Développement, if
the technology hurdles are cleared, GaN-on-Si LEDs will be adopted by
some LED manufacturers, but will not become the industry standard.
is more optimistic about the adoption of GaN on Si technology for power
GaN devices. Contrary to LED industry, where GaN on Sapphire technology
is the main stream and presents a challenging target, GaN on Si will
dominate the GaN based power electronics applications. Although the GaN
based devices remain more expensive than Si based devices, the overall
cost of GaN device for some applications are expected to be lower three
years from now according to some manufacturers.
GaN targets a $15 billion served
available device market. GaN can power 4 families of devices and related
applications. These are blue and green laser diodes, LEDs, power
electronics and RF.
Regarding GaN-on-Si LED, there will be no more than 5 percent penetration by
2020. As for GaN-on-GaN, it will be less than 2 percent. Yole considers
that the leading proponents of LED-On-Si will successful and eventually adopt
Si for all their manufacturing. Those include Bridgelux/Toshiba,
Lattice Power, TSMC and Samsung. It expects that Silicon will capture
4.4 percent of LED manufacturing by 2020.
GaN wafer could break
through the $2000 per 4” wafer barrier by 2017 or 2018, enabling limited
adoption in applications that require high lumen output other small