News Article

Sapphire Substrate Market Exceeded $200M In 2010

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the

Sapphire material market exceeded $200M in 2010 despite the downturn.

Sapphire product is serving mainly 2 applications in the electronics field: GaN-based LED and RF devices, both for mobile phones (Silicon-on-Sapphire SoS technology).

The sapphire substrate market for electronic applications has reached a market volume of approximately 9 million wafers (2 equivalent) for LED augmented by some 10s of thousands 6 and 8 wafers for SoS RF applications in 2009.

Despite the 2009 economic situation and thanks mostly to LCD LED backlight applications, the c-plan sapphire wafer market grew +4% over 2009 compared to 2008 in the LED segment.

On the other hand, r-plan sapphire business for SoS applications has been strongly affected by the recession as the main application markets are related to consumer appliances (mainly mobile phones). As a result, a -55% revenue decline has been observed on the r-plan side.

2 sapphire price as low as ever but shortage risk could generate turbulence

The price pressure on 2 remains critical and our models showed that most of the suppliers are having a very tiny margin on that material and some of them are even losing money in that business. The 2 price level, especially in Taiwan, was extremely low and the psychological $10 threshold has probably been reached. However, we stay confident that 2 wafer price will gain +15% to 20% in 2010 as a shortage situation cannot be excluded.

Indeed, our Demand-Capacity analysis shows a risk-zone that should occur during the second half of 2010, where all the planned capacity wont be fully installed, facing a demand in LED that can create some turbulence. Now, we feel comfortable saying that this stress period should end early in 2011 with the full ramp-up of sapphire producers. Is 6 sapphire economically viable for LED?

2009 saw the introduction of first industrial tools running 6 diameter for LED manufacture. It is still unclear how 6 sapphire can bring a strong added-value on the LED manufacturing cost as the market price of these substrates stays very high in comparison to $/sq. inch costs for 2 and 4 wafers. We ran our proprietary Sapphire Growth Cost Model tool and found that only Kyropulos and EFG growth techniques could generate a sub $6/sq. inch c-plan wafer cost in 6 diameter, which is again very expensive compared to smaller diameter materials. Japan captures almost half the business

With more than 44% market share, Japanese sapphire producers are again leading the business in 2009. Kyocera and Namiki are now collecting more than $100M in sapphire revenues for both substrates and non-substrate (Optical applications) products. Shinkosha and Sumitomo Metal Mining are also part of the TOP-12 players.

In the US, Rubicon has faced a severe downturn on the r-plan segment as its main client Peregrine has strongly reduced its orders. In Europe, Monocrystal Plc. remains the number one actor.

This report provides a complete analysis of the 2 main applications targeted by the sapphire substrates along with key market metrics. It describes the involvement of the major material suppliers and gives a snapshot of the sapphire industry playground. The report presents the $ and unit values on the 2006-2013 time scale for the GaN-based LED and SoS-based RF devices and their equivalence in substrate consumptions and related material market size.

Benefits of the report for equipment and material manufacturers:

 

    * Analysis of the structure of the sapphire industry and evolution of the industrial food chain

    * Calculation of substrate volumes to be produced for every market segments

    * Status of diameter currently in use and transition forecasted in the future

 

Benefits of the report for the devices manufacturers:

    * Analysis of the current applications and detailed analysis of the future businesses

    * Analysis of the competition from large companies to small start up

    * Volume and price forecast

 

Companies Mentioned:

    * ACME Electronics Corporation.

    * Alpha Crystal Technology Corp.: ACTC

    * Advanced System Technology

    * Crystal GmbH

    * CrystalQ

    * Crystal Systems

    * Crystal Wise

    * Crystal On

    * Epistone

    * Exiton

    * ILJIN Display Co.

    * Jiaozuo City Crystal Photoelectric Material Co., Ltd .

    * Juropol

    * Kyocera

    * M.J Corporation

    * Monocrystal PLC, Inc.

    * Namiki

    * N-Crystals

    * Precision Sapphire Technologies

    * Rubicon Technology

    * Saito Optical Science

    * Saifei

    * Saint-Gobain Crystals

    * San Chih Semiconductor

    * Sapphire Technology Co., Ltd

    * Sino American Silicon

    * Shinkosha

    * Silian Sapphire Corporation

    * Siltron / LG

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/2df43b/sapphire_substrate

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