Learn about the third-generation semiconductors! GaN
For the development of GaN power devices, market demand traction is crucial. From the field of power supply and PFC (power factor correction) (which will dominate the market in 2020), to UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and motor drive, many application fields will benefit from the characteristics of GaN-on-Si power devices.
Yole Developpement, a market research company, believes that in addition to these applications, pure electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid vehicles (HEVs) will also begin to adopt these new materials and devices after 2020. In terms of market size, the overall size of the GaN device market is likely to reach about $600 million in 2020. At that time, a 6-inch wafer can process about 580,000 GaNs. According to the concept of EV and HEV adopting GaN from 2018 or 2019, the number of GaN devices will increase significantly from 2016 and will grow at an average annual growth rate of 80% (CAGR) until 2020.
With the gradual maturity of 5G technology and the opportunity brought to the RF Front End chip market, the demand for RF power amplifiers (RF PA) will continue to grow in the future, including traditional metal oxidized semiconductors (Laterally Diffused metal The Oxide Semiconductor (LDMOS; LDMOS has low-cost and high-power performance advantages) process is gradually replaced by Gallium Nitride (GaN), especially in 5G technology, which requires more components and higher frequencies. In addition, gallium arsenide (GaAs) grows relatively steadily. By introducing new RF technology, RF PA will be realized with new process technology, among which GaN's RF PA will become the mainstream process technology with an output power of more than 3W, and the market share of LDMOS will gradually decrease.
Because 5G technology covers millimeter wave frequency and large-scale MIMO (Multi-Input Multi-Output) antenna applications to achieve 5G wireless integration and architectural breakthroughs, how to adopt Massive-MIMO and millimeter wave (mmWav on a large scale in the future? e) The return system will be the key to development. Due to the high 5G frequency, the demand for high-power, high-performance and high-density radio frequency components has increased, of which gallium nitride (GaN) meets its conditions, that is, the GaN market has more potential business opportunities.
【Three】What is gallium nitride (GAN)?
The research and application of GaN materials is the forefront and hotspot of global semiconductor research. It is a new semiconductor material for the development of microelectronic devices and optoelectronic devices. Together with SIC, diamond and other semiconductor materials, it is known as the first generation of Ge and Si semiconductor materials, the second generation of GaAs and InP. Third-generation semiconductor materials after composite semiconductor materials. It has wide direct bandgaps, strong atomic bonds, high thermal conductivity, good chemical stability (almost not corroded by any acid) and strong radiation resistance. It has broad prospects for the application of photoelectrons, high-temperature and high-power devices and high-frequency microwave devices.
Gallium nitride (GAN) is a typical representative of third-generation semiconductor materials. At T=300K, it is the core component of light-emitting diodes in semiconductor lighting. Gallium nitride is an artificial material. The conditions for the natural formation of gallium nitride are extremely harsh. It takes more than 2,000 degrees of high temperatures and nearly 10,000 atmospheric pressure to synthesize gallium nitride with metallic gallium and nitrogen, which is impossible to achieve in nature.
As we all know, the first-generation semiconductor material is silicon, which mainly solves the problems of data computing and storage; the second-generation semiconductor is represented by gallium arsenide, which is applied to optical fiber communication, mainly solving the problem of data transmission; the third-generation semiconductor is represented by gallium nitride, which has sudden performance in electrical and optical conversion. It is more efficient in microwave signal transmission, so it can be widely used in lighting, display, communication and other fields. In 1998, American scientists developed the first gallium nitride transistor.
【Four】Properties of gallium nitride (GAN)High performance: mainly includes high output power, high power density, high working bandwidth, high efficiency, small size, light weight, etc. At present, the output power of the first and second-generation semiconductor materials has reached the limit, and GaN semiconductors can easily achieve high working pulse width and high working ratio due to its advantages in thermal stability performance, increasing the transmission power of the antenna unit level by 10 times.
High reliability: The life of the power device is closely related to its temperature. The higher the temperature junction, the lower the life. GaN materials have the characteristics of high temperature junction and high thermal conductivity, which greatly improves the adaptability and reliability of devices at different temperatures. GaN devices can be used in military equipment above 650°C.
Low cost: The application of GaN semiconductor can effectively improve the design of the transmitting antenna, reduce the number of emission components and the series of amplifiers, etc., and effectively reduce costs. At present, GaN has begun to replace GaAs as a T/R (receiver/off) module electronic device material for new radar and jammers. The next generation of AMDR (solid-state active phased array radar) in the U.S. military uses GaN semiconductors. The superior properties of gallium nitride with high bandwidth, high breakdown voltage, high thermal conductivity, high electron saturation drift speed, strong radiation resistance and good chemical stability make it the material system with the highest electro-optical and photoelectric conversion efficiency in theory so far, and can become a wide-spectral, high-power and high-efficiency microelectronic. , the key basic materials of power electronics, optoelectronics and other devices.
GaN's wide bandwidth (3.4eV) and sapphire materials are used as substrate, which has good heat dissipation performance, which is conducive to the operation of devices under high power conditions. With the continuous deepening research and development of Group III nitride materials and devices, GaInN ultra-high blue light and green LED technologies have been commercialized. Now major companies and research institutions around the world have invested heavily in the competition for the development of Blu-ray LEDs.