Thought for the month
“It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.” Edmund Burke, politician (1729 – 97).
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
A look into the future
Two new reports from the technology analysts Yole Developpement are interesting. One covers III-V Epitaxy Equipment and the other GaAs Wafer Market & Applications. The former notes the huge MOCVD epitaxy growth sales in 2010/11 driven by the demand for LEDs for backlit LCD TVs and general lighting. This was coupled with significant sector subsidies in China via local and central government. There is now an overcapacity situation that could take 12-18 months to absorb. Yole Developpement consider that the next investment cycle, driven by lighting applications, will start in 2013. This will be more limited than the previous cycle due to improvements in equipment throughput and yields. Following this cycle, further cost of ownership improvements offered by the next generation of MOCVD reactors will justify the replacement of reactors installed during the 2010-2011 boom and drive a small equipment cycle in the second half of the decade. By then they predict that applications related to power devices using GaN will give a substantial upside for reactor makers. After recovering strongly from 2009 with growth of 22% in 2010, the GaAs substrate market slowed sharply in 2011, rising just 4% to nearly $360m, due to weak demand in RF circuits (handsets and WLANs) and in optoelectronics (LEDs and laser diodes) according to Yole's report on GaAs Wafer Market & Applications. The wafer market is expected to recover in 2012, driven by the sheer volume of the handset market and consolidation of the LED industry. The GaAs substrate market should increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 11% to more than $650m by 2017, fuelled primarily by: rising GaAs content in handsets; and rising penetration of LEDs in general lighting and automotive applications.