Worldwide Silicon Epitaxial Wafer Industry to 2026

Dublin, May 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Silicon Epitaxial Wafer Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026)” report has been added to’s offering.

The silicon epitaxial wafer market is expected to register a CAGR of 4.42% during the forecast period from 2021 – 2026. The growing demand for advanced semiconductors and increasing innovative end-user applications are significant factors driving the market studied. Epitaxial is mainly done to enhance the functionality of wafers. In recent years, technology has become essential for the manufacturing of highly integrated semiconductor elements (ICs), image sensors (CIS), and specific power semiconductors.

The overall semiconductor industry has been witnessing a decline from the previous year, which is further expected to continue in 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, globally, the silicon wafer shipments rebounded slightly in Q1 2020, after declining for one year. Logic, analog ICs, discrete components, microprocessors, image sensors, power and optoelectronics, and IGBTs, among others, are some of the significant applications of epitaxial wafers that have gained market momentum in recent years. In 2019, memory devices contributed a substantial portion of the overall demand for ICs. However, all of these categories are witnessing a declining growth rate from the last two years, the trend that is expected to continue in 2020.

Silicon epitaxial wafers are mainly driving the market studied, owing to their adoption in numerous high-end, power electronics applications, such as an electric vehicle or renewable energy. In May 2020, SEMI reported that the worldwide silicon wafer area shipments grew by 2.7% to 2,920 million sq. Inches in Q1 2020, as compared with Q4 2019 shipments of 2,844 million sq. Inches, but dropped 4.3% Y-o-Y. GaN material is the emerging trend in the market studied, and its applications in the LED market mainly drive it. In 2019, most of the new epitaxy growth equipment was adopted for LED and power applications. Complexities associated with the design, high rates of product development, and top equipment costs are some of the major restraining factors in the industry.

In January 2020, US-based start-up, Qromis, signed a licensing agreement with Japan-based Si wafer and materials manufacturer, Shin-Etsu Chemical, to manufacture substrates and epitaxial wafer for GaN power/RF electronics and LED devices, among others. The company has already released six- and eight-inch GaN-ready QST substrates and six- and eight-inch’ templates,’ with 5 m and 10 m GaN layers. As it is also developing 200V and 650V GaN HEMT epi-wafers, based on six- and eight-inch QST substrates for commercial devices, while 900V and 1200V GaN HEMT epi-wafers are also being developed and sampled. Inline with good GaN growth forecasts, the company is also planning to establish a second manufacturing source for QST substrates and GaN-on-QST epitaxy wafers.

Automotive is one of the significant applications and opportunities for vendors of the market studied. Epitaxial wafer used in semiconductor plays a considerable role in in-vehicle technology. With the rise of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, they find applications in several products, like in ADAS, navigation control, infotainment systems, and collision detections. Automotive ICs and microcontrollers are also witnessing a surge in demand. In November 2019, Germany-based AIXTRON SE announced that it had provided an AIX G5 WW C system to China-based EpiWorld International Co. Ltd for further development of next-generation SiC epitaxial wafers mainly used to manufacture power devices for automotive applications.

Key Market Trends

Power Electronics is Expected to Significant Share

  • The growing need for power-efficient products is one of the major factors driving the demand for the epitaxial wafer for power electronics products, across all the end-user industries. Therefore, the vendors of the market studied are targeting a wide range of industries, to mitigate risk and expand their customer base. The IGBT and MOSFET markets may continue to increase, but a part of the market is expected to go to SiC, especially when discussing modules for EV/ HEV. Moreover, the demand for power MOSFET is supported by its growing use in replacing insulated-gate, bipolar transistors, and thyristors. Additionally, the significant advantage of using power MOSFET in reinforcing the power efficiency of devices at low voltages further drives the demand for the global power MOSFET market.
  • The increasing usage of power electronics in consumer electronic devices is also fuelling the demand. The growing penetration of smartphones and smart devices, increasing the adoption of IoT devices, and increasing industrial usage is also a developing market for power electronics. The high demand for power electronics devices has also resulted in a shortage of 200 mm wafers, in 2018 and 2019. The customer demand is falling because major customers still have equipment vast inventory. The long-term growth in the power electronics market is also driving 300 mm wafer-based production. More than seven global power electronics vendors have announced an investment in new fabrication capabilities to be in production from 2021.
  • For instance, in 2018, Infineon began the construction of a fully automated 300-millimeter, thin-wafer manufacturing facility at the Villach site. The company is also planning to ramp the fab by late 2021, with a EUR 1.6 billion investment. In June 2019, the company also joined EUR 74 million European research project “Power2Power”, which is mainly focusing on developing innovative power electronics, with highest power densities and energy efficiencies, using silicon-based IGBT technology. The project size totals approximately EUR 74 million. The company is also expanding its R&D expertise for power electronic enabled radio-frequency components at the Linz site. It mainly focuses on 77 gigahertz radar sensor ICs for driver assistance systems and on radio-frequency components for smartphones, tablets, and navigation applications.
  • Imec and Qromis have collaborated for the developed enhancement-mode, p-GaN discrete, and IC power devices on 200 mm QST substrates, with epitaxy layers grown in Aixtron’s G5+ C 200 mm MOVCD platform. Both the companies have been working on device fabrication, developing GaN power devices, indiscreet and monolithically-integrated ICs forms, and on 200 mm QST substrates in an advanced CMOS silicon pilot line. Imec and Qromis have collaborated with Germany-based GaN MOCVD equipment manufacturer, Aixtron, on GaN-on-QST epitaxy development. Many industrial experts claim that the number of integrated circuits (IC) semiconductor fabrication plants processing 300 mm wafers worldwide are expected to grow from 15 in 2002 to 138 by 2023.

Asia-Pacific is Expected to Hold Major Share

  • The semiconductor wafer market is expected to start ramping up 200 mm manufacturing, between 2021-2022. The overall demand for 300 mm wafers is expected to grow by 2025; the market studied may also witness advancement and innovation. Due to their dominance in semiconductor manufacturing, Asia-Pacific is also dominating the market studied. The high market price of the SiC substrate and the growing LED demand forced many Asian manufacturers to GaN wafers. However, in 2019-2020, many of the Chinese LED manufacturers overproduced GaN wafers. The Metalorganic Chemical Vapour Deposition (MOCVD) market is also witnessing a significant overcapacity for GaN LED production compared to what is produced.
  • The studied market is also seeing an increasing number of partnerships and collaborations in the region, which is also expected to bring advancement into the studied market and will also expand the scope over the forecast period. For instance, in June 2020, Taiwan-based LED epitaxial wafer and chip manufacturer, Epistar, and vertically integrated LED firm, Lextar Electronics (a subsidiary of AU Optronics), announced to jointly establish a ‘holding company A’ via share conversion. Acting as an III-V semiconductor investment platform, Company A is committed to flourishing existing businesses of Epistar and Lextar and exploring advanced technologies for applications, including mini/micro-LED displays, intelligent sensing, and III-V microelectronics fields.
  • In June 2020, Taiwan-based supplier of compound semiconductor epitaxial wafers, Intelligent Expiataxy Technology (IntelliEPI), installed new 6-8 sets of MBE (molecular beam epitaxy) equipment at its new plant, for production of GaN/SiC epitaxial wafers, during the second half of 2020. This was mainly to increase the company’s output to meet the demand arising from the proliferation of 5G. The company also witnessed a revenue growth in 2019 due to the growing demand for GaAs and InP-based epi wafers to support 5G infrastructure applications. It is also engaged in the development of HBT (heterojunction bipolar transistor) products jointly with its clients.
  • In September 2019, China-based Eta Research launched n-type 100 mm GaN wafers, with an epitaxial ready polish. The company uses the HVPE method to produce GaN wafers. In 2018, it demonstrated as-grown GaN wafers of 100 mm diameter, which can be cut into 2-inch and 3-inch wafers as the finished size. In 2019, it developed nearly 5-inch as-grown GaN wafers, which can be cut and processed into 100 mm wafers. At the end of 2019, more HVPE capacity was brought online in China’s new production factory. Furthermore, working with their epitaxial growth partners, the company announced to offer GaN wafers, with MOCVD epitaxial layers for interested customers.

Competitive Landscape

The silicon epitaxial wafer market is moderately competitive and consists of a significant amount of major players. In terms of market share, none of the major players currently dominate the market. Along with an increased focus on product innovation, the companies are also getting engaged in mergers and acquisitions to stay competitive.

  • May 2020 – SweGaN AB which manufactures custom gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) epitaxial wafers for RF and power electronics devices, has announced a new benchmark for GaN high-frequency devices based on its QuanFINE material, reckoning that the demonstration promises commercial benefits for the entire GaN RF value chains including telecom, space, and military markets.
  • March 2020 – Intel recognized 37 suppliers for their exceptional commitment to quality and performance in 2019. One among them was SUMCO Corporation for the supply of the 200mm and 300mm epitaxial and polished silicon wafers.

Reasons to Purchase this report:

  • The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
  • 3 months of analyst support

Key Topics Covered:

1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study



4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.3 Industry Attractiveness – Porter’s Five Force Analysis
4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.4 Market Drivers
4.4.1 Miniaturization of Technology
4.4.2 Rise in Demand of High Performance Lighting
4.5 Market Restraints
4.5.1 Complexities Associated with the Design
4.6 Impact of COVID-19 on the Overall Semiconductor Industry

5.1 By Application
5.1.1 Power Electronics
5.1.2 MEMS
5.1.3 RF Electronics
5.1.4 Photonics
5.2 By Type of Wafer
5.2.1 Si/Si
5.2.2 SiC/SiC
5.2.3 GaAs
5.2.4 GaN/Substrate
5.2.5 InP
5.3 Geography
5.3.1 China
5.3.2 Taiwan
5.3.3 Korea
5.3.4 North America
5.3.5 Europe
5.3.6 Rest of the World




9.1 Company Profiles
9.1.1 SweGaN AB
9.1.2 Sumco Corporation
9.1.3 GlobalWafers Japan CO. Ltd
9.1.4 Siltronic AG
9.1.5 MOSPEC Semiconductor Corporation
9.1.6 IQE PLC
9.1.7 II-VI Incorporated


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