Compound Semiconductor Market and its key opportunities and challenges

The global Compound Semiconductor Market size is expected to grow from USD 37.2 billion in 2019 to USD 53.0 billion by 2024, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% as per a new report by MarketsandMarkets.

The global Compound Semiconductor Market size is expected to grow from USD 37.2 billion in 2019 to USD 53.0 billion by 2024, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% as per a new report by MarketsandMarkets.

Why rising demand for high speed and advanced devices in datacom applications to throw more opportunities in this market?

Semiconductor substrates offer the opportunity of integrating electronic devices with photonic components. Silicon (Si) is ideal for electronic circuits; however, it has limited functions for photonics. It is an excellent detector for wavelength less than 1 micron, but it does not work in the transmission window of glass fiber. It does not generate light efficiently except in the form of porous silicon. The emission wavelength does not match with fiber either. Compound semiconductors containing group III and group V elements can be used as a substitute of Si. III-V compound semiconductors include binary (2 elements), ternary (3 elements), and quarternery (4 elements) materials (e.g., GaAs, Al xGa1-xAs, and InxGa1-xAsyP1-y). By integrating electronic devices with photonic components, it is possible to make single-chip transceivers with low cost and high reliability.

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To fulfill new datacenter trends, there is a need to increase the transceiver and component data rate as well as efficiency both in terms of size and power consumption. InP materials are used in optoelectronics and Datacom applications. It is a key compound semiconductor material that enables optical systems to deliver the performance required for data centre. In Datacom application, InPs are widely used in transceivers including silicon photonics transceivers. InP PIC technology promises to offer solutions for high-speed computing and data transmission. Lasers, photodiodes and waveguides fabricated on InP operate at the optimum transmission window of glass fiber, which enable efficient fiber communications.

High material and fabrication costs associated with compound semiconductors

The major factor restraining the compound semiconductor market growth is the high expenditure involved in the complete industry processes in the supply chain. The total average expenditure per compound semiconductor device, of all the supply chain processes put together (including expenditure from both complete upstream and downstream), is much more than the average expenditure per pure silicon semiconductor device. The primary reason for this is that all processes are complex, newer, employ advanced technologies, and require state-of-the-art high priced equipment, as well as lack familiarity and required expertise in manufacturing processes among the engineering community and executives of compound semiconductor market players.

Is complexity to design compound semiconductors emerging a major challenge?

There is a high level of design complexity in the designing of compound semiconductor devices. The major challenge for designers is to achieve better efficiency while keeping the cost low and the structure less complex. Also, the varying requirements of different applications further increase the design complexities of the power and RF device. The efficiency surge increases the operating time in battery-powered products, thereby reducing the electricity consumption of wireless base stations and similar applications.

Apart from complex design, packaging of these devices is a vital factor affecting the performance of the circuits and systems in which these circuits will be installed. Moreover, packaging is also an important factor when the devices operate at high temperatures; therefore, proper packaging must be done for the devices to perform desired operations, else it will result in a technical snag.


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