Compound Semiconductor Materials: Technology, Developments and Markets

Published - Jul 2008| Analyst - Andrew Zhalko-Tytarenko| Code - SMC032C
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for compound semiconductors is expected to increase from $16.0 billion in 2007 to $33.7 billion by the end of 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.3%.
  • Wireless electronic devices have the largest share of the market, generating $5.7 billion in 2007. This is expected to reach $9.6 billion in 2012, for a CAGR of 10.8%.
  • Solar cell applications are expected to grow at a CAGR of 85.0%, from $9.0 million in 2007 to an estimated $2.3 billion in 2012.


The compound semiconductor industry is small, but it’s the most dynamic component of the overall global semiconductor industry. Compound semiconductor components are used in variety of applications, including mobile handsets, networking equipment, fiber optics equipment, various lighting applications that range from display indicators to billboard advertisement and lighting, solar power generation, night vision, barcode scanning, and many others. In each particular case, the compound semiconductor devices are the enabling components of the applications that define life in the 21st century.
Almost all of the modern, large technology-based corporations are exposed to the compound semiconductor industry. Business of corporations like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung or Toshiba is simply impossible without use of compound semiconductor materials or components. Combined revenue of the corporations that rely on compound semiconductor materials exceeds a trillion U.S. dollars and the industry employs close to a million workers, including more than 100,000 scientists and researchers. The industry is established in North America, in Europe, in Japan, in China and in South Korea, and is rapidly growing in South Asia, Latin America and other parts of the world.
The compound semiconductor industry includes very broad areas of applications and technologies, which cannot be covered in a single report. For this reason we had to avoid, in some cases, excessive details on individual materials, technologies or corporations in order to maintain the integrity of the entire study.
The resources that were used for preparation of this report include annual reports of publicly traded companies, government statistics, resources of national patent agencies, professional industry publications, company press releases, and other publications for individual sectors of the market. We tried, however, to limit the use of third-party analysis as much as possible, and to rely on directly published data.
The report includes predictions of market development from 2007 to 2012.
The goal of this study is to identify the most important developments within the compound semiconductor industry and technologies, and to forecast the expansion of the compound semiconductor market during the coming 5 years (2007-2012). We will provide detailed market forecasts by industry sector, by application, by region and by material. We will also provide the reference source for new compound semiconductor technologies, leading compound semiconductor companies, and compound semiconductor materials and their applications.
The previous BCC research on compound semiconductor technologies (Compound Semiconductor Materials: Technology, Development and Market Trends SMC032B) was released in April of 2005. The compound semiconductor market and technologies are developing rapidly, and since the release of that report several significant developments have taken place (the downturn in the handset market and its recent return to a healthy growth pattern, and the arrival of the “soft white” light emitting diodes, among others). We believe that revisiting the industry status, market trends and projecting the industry developments up to 2012 are due. The current study serves these goals.
This report is intended for use by industry technical business planning and marketing executives, market and investment analysts, specialized industry media, government analysts and   industrial policy makers world wide.
The report includes eight chapters.
The first chapter of the study provides basic data about the compound semiconductor industry, materials, technologies and applications.
The second chapter is the key chapter of the study. It provides the analysis of the compound semiconductor market. The market performance for 2004 through 2007 and for 2007 through 2012 is analyzed. Special attention is given to microelectronics components market, light emitting diodes, laser diodes, sensors, night vision and photovoltaics applications.
The third chapter discusses internationalization of the compound semiconductor industry, international links and regulations, the markets and production of some specific countries, and dynamics of change in the international market of compound semiconductor materials.
The fourth chapter discusses and compares the market shares of individual compound semiconductors, while the following fifth chapter analyses the resource base of the compound semiconductor industry.
The sixth chapter provides the industry overview. It includes the profiles of individual companies, both on the consumer and on the producer sides, the profiles of the leading research institutions in technology development and in applied research, and briefly outlines the fundamental research institutions that are active in compound semiconductor research and development.
The seventh chapter discusses the status of compound semiconductor technology and patent holdings by sector of the industry, by material and by region. Finally, the last chapter of the study presents an analysis of the competition in the industry.
Considering that the consumption of compound semiconductor materials in many cases is defined by the end-user market for the products that include these materials or components, we have used the market projections for end-user products as the starting point for our analysis. The market analysis was usually performed in dollar (or Euro) amounts, and the market estimates were made for packaged components or devices.
The past market data are based primarily on BCC’s own research, on the leading companies annual reports that are available in the public domain, and on the data of other researchers. The methodology of the market forecast that we have employed relies primarily on market predictions for the end-products where the compound semiconductor materials are used. When such data are not available, we analyze the market environment in regard to possible market shake-ups, and based on this analysis apply, or don’t apply, a linear prediction methodology. In the case when we believe that linear prediction results are not necessarily reliable, we indicate this. Finally, some market niches (like automotive exterior lighting or household applications for HB LED) are at the verge of break-through to rapid expansion. In these cases we do special analysis, which involves all the above mentioned sources, and also the data of other researchers.
The study was conducted by Dr. Andriy Zhalko-Tytarenko. He is the former Deputy Director of the National Space Agency of Ukraine, responsible for Advanced Research, and has authored more than 70 publications and co-authored publications in the areas of solid state physics, advanced materials research and applications, and new technologies.

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

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.

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