The Rise of Compound Semiconductor Materials

Demand for Compound Semiconductor Materials

As the third-generation semiconductor materials become the competition ground for various semiconductor factories, the integration of the industrial chain will accelerate the product development process. However, the mass production of compound semiconductor products such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) is the most difficult, except In addition to the high cost, the manufacturing process of upstream materials such as gallium nitride wafers and silicon carbide wafers is difficult and insufficient supply is also a challenge.
Semiconductor materials have gone through three stages of development. The first generation is silicon (Si) and other basic functional materials; the second generation is compound semiconductor materials composed of more than two elements, with gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) The third generation is represented by broadband compound semiconductor materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC).

Disadvantages of Basic Functional Materials

From the standpoint of the Taiwanese manufacturer’s material side, Global Crystal already has 6-inch GaN on Si (gallium nitride on silicon) mass production capacity. GaN on SiC (gallium nitride on silicon carbide) is currently only 4 At the same time, SiC (silicon carbide) production capacity is in the process of obtaining certification. And Hanlei Investment Control's epitaxial silicon wafer plant Jiajing has 4 inch, 6 inch silicon carbide epitaxy, and 6 inch gallium nitride epitaxy mass production capacity.
In addition to the high cost, due to the high difficulty of substrates and epitaxy at the material end, related compound semiconductor materials cannot be produced in large quantities, and the supply in the market is still insufficient. The GaN on Si process is to grow gallium nitride epitaxy on a silicon wafer substrate, but the two crystal lattices do not match, which is prone to warping during the process, and the substrate silicon wafer also needs to be specially manufactured.
Silicon carbide is limited by the raw materials used to manufacture silicon carbide wafers, and most of them need to be imported from various parts of the world. However, more and more countries regard silicon carbide materials as strategic resources and adopt export controls, which greatly affects the acquisition of raw materials by Taiwanese factories. Pressure; on the other hand, silicon carbide has a long crystal growth time and high process difficulty, which is also one of the difficulties in mass production.

The Development of Compound Semiconductor Materials

Gallium nitride applications include 5G base stations and mobile phones, power supplies, electric vehicles and other three major areas. Global Crystal is optimistic. The next two or three years will be a turning point for the gradual increase of gallium nitride-related materials. Wei Zhejia, president of TSMC, a leading foundry company, is also optimistic about the application prospects of GaN, and is expected to be widely and widely used in the future.
Compared with gallium nitride, silicon carbide is more resistant to high temperatures and high voltages, and is more suitable for harsh environments. Applications include high-power applications such as uninterruptible power systems, smart grids, and power supplies. Recently, with the development of electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles, silicon carbide materials have rapidly emerged in the field of new energy vehicles. Tesla has taken the lead in adopting SiC MOSFET components in the inverters of its Model 3 electric vehicles. MOSFET sparked discussion in the field of electric vehicles.

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