February 6, 2003 RELEASE
Compound-Semi IC Market to Grow 22 Percent Annually Through 2007
Scottsdale, Arizona — February 6, 2003 — IC Insights expects the compound-semiconductor IC market to experience an average annual growth rate of 22 percent from 2002 through 2007 as compared to a 10 percent rate forecast for the total IC market over the same time period.
Compound-semiconductor materials, such as gallium arsenide (GaAs), silicon germanium (SiGe), and indium phosphide (InP), have intrinsic electrical properties that give them several performance advantages over pure silicon, including higher frequency operation, improved signal reception, better signal processing in congested frequency bands, and greater power efficiency.
Beginning in the late 1990’s, ICs built using compound-semiconductor materials experienced a transformation from small-scale demand for niche applications to high-volume demand for advanced communications systems. In fact, compound-semiconductor devices have enabled wireless communications products to move to higher, less congested frequency bands and wired data communications products to achieve substantial increases in bandwidth.
Compound-semiconductor ICs are still largely based on GaAs (87 percent in 2002), but IC Insights’ recently released McClean Report 2003 study shows that SiGe is expected to display the strongest growth in demand in the coming years, achieving a marketshare of 33 percent by 2007.
Compared to competing compound-semiconductor technologies, there are certain areas where SiGe stands out, the main ones of which are due to SiGe being compatible with conventional silicon CMOS processes. That means SiGe chips can benefit from the economies-of-scale that today’s high-volume 200mm (and soon 300mm) silicon wafer fabs can provide, thereby lowering per-die costs.
A second, and perhaps more compelling, reason SiGe is an attractive technology option is the ability to merge the advantages of CMOS technology in low-power, high-density digital circuitry with the high speed of the SiGe HBT (heterojunction bipolar transistor) to create an advanced BiCMOS process ideally suited for highly integrated mixed-signal ICs for communications applications.
About IC Insights
IC Insights, Inc., based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is dedicated to providing high-quality, cost-effective market research for the integrated circuit industry. Founded in 1997, IC Insights offers coverage of global economic trends, IC market forecasts, capital spending and fab capacity trends, product market details, and technology trends, as well as complete IC company profiles and evaluations of emerging markets for ICs.