Emerging materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) will eventually displace silicon in power electronic applications, according to a new report from Lux Research, which forecasts that the market for GaN power electronics will reach $1.1 billion, about 5% of the total market, by 2024.
While silicon and SiC (SiC-on-SiC) each come in only one flavor, GaN comes in many different variants, including GaN-on-Si, GaN-on-SiC, and GaN-on-GaN. Each variety of GaN has its pros and cons, and the different types are better suited to different power electronics applications. For example, GaN-on-Si offers price benefits, whereas GaN-on-SiC offers the benefit of efficient high-temperature operation.
Lux forecasts that GaN-on-Si carbide (SiC) will be best adopted in the transportation segment, because of SiC substrates’ ability to function efficiently at high temperatures.