Compound Semiconductor Materials: Technology, Development and Market Trends

Published - Apr 2005| Analyst - Wu Shiming| Code - SMC032B
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Report Highlights

  • Worldwide, the combined revenues of compound semiconductor-related products, including materials, components and subsystems, were about $13 billion in 2004. This market is projected to rise at a 17% average annual growth rate (AAGR) to nearly $30 billion by 2009.
  • Materials, as substrates and epitaxial grown wafers, account for only between 5% to 7% of the total revenue every year.
  • Components, such as discrete devices, integrated circuits (ICs), LED chips, etc., account for more than 50% of the total revenue. This category is projected to expand at an AAGR of 18% to exceed $16 billion in 2009.
  • Multichip modules, LED arrays and subsystems account for about 35% of the total revenue and are expected to climb at an AAGR of 17% to $10 billion in 2009.


Advantages of compound semiconductor devices over traditional silicon devices include higher operating speeds, lower power consumption, reduced noise and distortion, higher operable temperatures, light emitting and detecting properties, higher light emission efficiency and longer product life, and higher energy conversion efficiency.

The systems that enable applications consist of many subsystems that incorporate individual compound semiconductor components or devices. Each component is made with a complex of materials designed for the application. Often, companies with their own unique leading-edge technologies are competent to provide value-added components, subsystems and turnkey systems to meet the communications requirements of the future.

This BCC report is the result of an extensive survey of the compound semiconductor industry. Its focus is on recent technology development in materials and devices, and serves as an update of the company’s 1996-1997 report series. The report covers the major markets and applications for compound semiconductor-based products and technologies. The current state of the market, as defined, is assessed and projections for growth and advancements in technology along with market trends are detailed.


The report contains:


  • A thorough review of compound semiconductor materials: Group III and V compounds, Group II and VI compounds and Group IV silicon based compounds
  • Detailed analyses of consumer, systems, subsystems and component applications and materials, with forecasts through 2009
  • Examination and discussion of possible applications for compound semiconductor materials within the next five years
  • Discussion of technologies and factors influencing demand
  • Review of research and development efforts in U.S. government-sponsored programs, research institutions, major universities, industry R&D labs and international organizations
  • Statistics on U.S. patents issued from 1996-2003 for materials, manufacturing technologies and applications
  • Identification of important manufacturers.



The material presented in this report is primarily based on information gathered from the Internet and other public data sources. To perform this study, BCC, Inc. gathered information from over 300 companies of various types and sizes, numerous research organizations, and government agencies. Distributors of materials and devices were not included in this study, nor were process equipment manufacturers. Data for each company were obtained by thoroughly analyzing SEC filings, company Web sites, annual reports, industry directories, industry magazines, government sources, and other public sources. Technical background information was gathered from technical publications, industrial and academic conference proceedings, and the Internet. Our final analyses and projections are based on a combination of a consensus among published market research reports and our understanding of the impact of trends from a historical perspective. All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2003 constant dollars.

Due to the rapid evolving nature of the compound semiconductor industry, it is impossible not to notice the frequent emergence and disappearance of es. Efforts have been made to trace the evolution of companies through such changes as merger, acquisition, spin-off, bankruptcy and name change, from 1996 to 2004. Understandably, it is difficult, if not impractical, to guarantee that all the information contained in this report is fully updated.


Dr. Shiming Wu has a BS degree from the University of Science and Technology of China and an MS degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994 with a Ph.D. degree in nuclear engineering and materials science. She then worked at University of Cambridge, UK, as a research scientist for four years. Her research area was in high temperature superconducting materials. From 1998 to 2003 she worked at Philips Lighting Company, a division of Philips Electronics North America Corp., as a senior development engineer. At Philips Lighting's R&D Lab she led projects of developing high intensity discharge lamps. Dr. Wu has been a member of the Materials Research Society (MRS) for more than a decade and is a regular contributor to MRS' monthly publication - MRS Bulletin. She is the author or co-author of more than thirty publications on nuclear technology, materials science and high temperature superconductivity.

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