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Nitride substrates set to command $440m market

Strategies Unlimited says that the market for AlN and GaN substrates will be worth nearly half a billion dollars by the end of the current decade.

Increasing demand for blue-violet lasers, ultraviolet LEDs and high-frequency electronics will dramatically boost the market for advanced compound semiconductor substrates based on GaN and AlN, claims a new report.

California-based Strategies Unlimited estimates that the current market for GaN-device substrates, dominated by SiC and sapphire materials used in high-brightness LED manufacturing, is worth $340 million.

By 2010, this figure is expected to have more than doubled to $880 million as the demand for higher-specification devices kicks in. "Advanced substrates such as GaN and AlN are predicted to comprise more than one-half of the market by 2010," the report says.

"These substrates will be needed to provide the lattice-matching and thermal characteristics necessary to produce high-performance devices at high yields."

The emerging market for native nitride substrate materials is being targeted by both established companies such as Cree, Sumitomo Electric and Samsung Corning, as well as ambitious new start-up firms like Kyma, Lumilog, Crystal IS, The Fox Group and TDI (see related magazine articles).

Crystal IS and Kyma have both won siginficant funding recently to help develop their advanced materials and to aid the ramp-up of substrate production to support volume device manufacturing.

The Strategies Unlimited market report Substrates for GaN-based devices: Performance comparisons and market assessment is available now for $3,450.

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