GaN power devices industry: fast and furious

Nothing raises more suspicion today: 2015 – 2016 have been exciting years for the GaN  power business: 600V GaN is today commercially available, after many ups and downs. And GaN power IC  has debuted, opening new market perspectives for GaN companies. According to Yole Développement (Yole), the “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company, GaN power business is expected to reach US$280 million in 2021, with an 86% CAGR between 2015 and 2021.

The market is driving by emerging applications including power supply for datacenter and telecom – AC  fast charger – Lidar – ET  – And wireless power.

“Numerous powerful developments and key collaborations have been announced during this period and confirmed a promising and fast-growing industry”, comments Dr. Hong Lin, Technology & Market Analyst from Yole. Integrated Device Technology (IDT) and Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) – Infineon Technologies and Panasonic – Exagan and XFab – TSMC and GaN Systems for volume production and much more… all collaborations took place within only 2 years, between 2015 and 2016. In parallel Texas Instruments announced a 80V power stage in 2015 and a 600V power stage in 2016. From its side, Visic announced its first GaN product in 2015.

Yole’s analysts propose you to discover the status of the Power GaN industry with a new technology & market analysis titled Power GaN 2016: Epitaxy and Devices, Applications and Technology Trends. This report gives a deep understanding of GaN penetration in different applications (power supply, PV , EV/HEV , UPS , lidar…) and the state-of-the-art GaN power devices. It also review the industrial landscape, market dynamics and market projection.
Up until late 2014, 600V/650V GaN HEMTs’ commercial availability was still questionable, despite some announcements from different players. Fast-forward to 2016 end users can now buy not only low-voltage GaN (<200V) devices from EPC Power, but also high-voltage (600V/650V) components from several players, including Transphorm, GaN Systems, and Panasonic.

In parallel a new start-up, Navitas Semiconductor, announced their GaN power IC in March 2016, followed by Dialog Semiconductors revealing their GaN power IC in August 2016. The idea of bringing GaN from the power semiconductor market to the much bigger analog IC market is of interest to several other players too. For example, EPC Power and GaN Systems are both working on a more integrated solution, and Texas Instruments, a well-established analog IC player, has also been engaged in GaN activities, releasing an 80V power stage and 600V power stage in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Despite these exciting developments, the GaN power market remains small compared to the gigantic US$335 billion silicon semiconductor market. In fact, according to Yole’s investigation, the GaN power business was less than US$10 million in 2015. “But before you think twice about GaN, remember that a small market size is not unusual for products just appearing on the market”, comments Dr Hong Lin. Indeed first GaN devices were not commercially available until 2010.

According to Yole’s analysts, the most important point to be noticed is the potential of GaN power. Indeed they expect the GaN power business to grow, reaching a market size of around US$300 million in 2021 at a 2016 – 2021 CAGR  of 86%.
“The current GaN power market is mainly dominated by low voltage (<200V) devices in the forecasted period but the 600V devices should take off”, comments Zhen Zong, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole.

“More than 200 patent applicants are involved in the power GaN industry”, explains KnowMade in its GaN for Power Electronics: Patent Investigation report (KnowMade, August 2015). Such figure is showing the strong interest from power players in the GaN business. The take-off of patenting activity took place in the 2000s with a first wave of patent publications over the 2005-2009 period mainly due to American and Japanese companies. A second wave started in 2010 while first commercial GaN products, collaborations and mergers and acquisitions emerged… “In the today’s power GaN market, it is crucial to understand the global patent landscape thorough in-depth analyses”, comments Nicolas Baron, CEO & Co-founder of Knowmade. “This approach helps the companies to anticipate the changes, identify and evaluate business opportunities, mitigate risks and make strategic choices…”
Detailed information about Yole and Knowmade reports is available on, compound semiconductor reports section.