From power to RF: GaN’s journey to a US$4.35B market by 2029

Key market trends and drivers are propelling GaN technologies to new heights as they move into high-volume manufacturing.

The automotive market is poised to drive significant growth in demand for GaN, which has traditionally been led by the consumer power supply market, announces Yole Group.

A wide band gap (WBG) semiconductor, GaN plays an important role in power and RF applications. Primarily used in fast chargers and adapters for consumer devices, GaN is expanding rapidly into other consumer power conversion applications as well as EVs.

New trends in consumer devices include higher power capacities of up to 300W and “all-GaN” chargers, which increases the GaN content per charger. Power GaN is also expanding to other consumer applications, such as overvoltage protection (OVP) in smartphones and home appliances.

According to Yole Group’s Power SiC/GaN Compound Semiconductor Market Monitor, the power GaN segment is forecast to grow from US$260 million in 2023 to US$2.5 billion by 2029, as use expands from consumer power supply to hybrid and electric vehicle OBC and DC-DC converters as well as data centers. GaN revenue from the automotive and mobility sector could exceed US$750 million by 2029, Yole Group predicts. By 2035, it could also find applications in EV inverters and the industrial and energy sectors.

The RF GaN segment could expand from US$1.1 billion in 2023 to US$1.9 billion in 2029, fueled by advancements in telecom infrastructure, satellite communication and more.

Ezgi Dogmus Activity Manager, Semiconductor Substrates & Materials at Yole Group
There will be significant new opportunities in telecom for RF GaN-on-Si technology, which is being developed by players such as Infineon and STMicroelectronics with MACOM, and foundries like GlobalFoundries, UMC and many more.

Yole Group tracks the overall GaN industry through a dedicated collection of analyses. It includes: Power GaN 2023RF GaN 2023Status of the Compound Semiconductor Industry 2024 and Power SiC/GaN Compound Semiconductor Market Monitor

New GaN applications to fuel strong growth

GaN is expected to be deployed in EVs as several Tier 1 automotive manufacturers have been collaborating closely with device manufacturers for nearly a decade to develop GaN-based solutions. GaN has a significant role to play in reducing system costs, weight, volume and power losses in EVs.

Claire Troadec Business Line Director of the More than Moore activities at Yole Group
Production of GaN OBCs and DC-DC converters will ramp up in 2-3 years, followed by main inverters after 2028. 100V GaN devices are used in automotive LIDAR for ADAS and other automotive applications include class-D audio, motor drives, wireless charging, and safety systems.

The automotive industry will also be competing with the data center sector for GaN devices. Escalating demand for data and computing – particularly for training and running artificial intelligence – has fueled rapid growth in data centers. As this increases power consumption, there is a push toward using GaN for higher efficiency by reducing OpEx and carbon footprint. Yole Group expects a significant deployment of GaN solutions in the coming 3-4 years.

In the RF GaN sector, telecom, GaN stands to benefit from the rising demand for 5G base stations, which require high-power and high-frequency operation.

Taha Ayari Technology & Market Analyst, Semiconductor Substrates & Materials at Yole Group
GaN-on-Si solutions are also being explored by some companies for handsets, although they are facing technical challenges such as GaN device maturity and integration into the system.

Other applications include industrial, RF energy, mobile satellite systems, civil radar, and test and measurement instruments.

GaN supports specialty WFE market share gain

Demand for GaN as well as SiC in automotive and industrial applications is contributing to the share of specialty device equipment in the overall wafer fabrication equipment (WFE) market.

WFE revenue generated by specialty/MtM device production at the >28nm node is increasing year on year. Specialty device WFE is gaining market share due to the steady adoption of smaller manufacturing nodes and the related purchase of higher-ASP equipment.

In 2024, Yole Group’s analysts expect GaN and SiC investment to increase again while investment in silicon-based devices is forecast to remain robust but flat.

Specialty WFE equipment sales became critical in 2023 for all WFE vendors, including the top tier, to survive the period of downturn in memory demand.

At Yole Group, experts continue to track developments in the rapidly expanding power GaN industry.

Do not miss our upcoming in-depth live webinar on June 19 with Lam Research exploring the technological challenges, market outlooks, and evolving landscapes in the exciting power and RF GaN markets. Register today!

About the authors

Claire Troadec is Business Line Director of the More than Moore activities at Yole Group. These activities are covering imaging & display, photonics & sensing, battery & power semiconductors, and radio frequency.

Based on her valuable experience in the semiconductor industry, Claire is managing the expansion of the technical and market expertise of the More than Moore activities. Daily interactions with leading companies allow these analysts to collect a large amount of data and cross their vision of market segments’ evolution and technology breakthroughs.

In addition, Claire’s mission is focused on the management of business relationships with leading companies of this sector and the development of market research and strategy consulting activities inside the Yole Group.

Claire Troadec holds a Master’s degree in Applied Physics specializing in Microelectronics from INSA (Rennes, France). She then joined NXP Semiconductors and worked for 7 years as a complementary metal-on-silicon oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process integration engineer at the IMEC R&D facility. During this time, she oversaw the isolation and performance boosting of CMOS technology node devices from 90 nm down to 45 nm. She has authored or co-authored seven US patents and nine international publications in the semiconductor field and managed her own distribution company before joining Yole Group in 2013.

Ezgi Dogmus, PhD is Activity Manager, Semiconductor Substrates & Materials at Yole Group.

With an international team of analysts, she is managing the expansion of the technical expertise and the market know-how of the company. In addition, Ezgi actively assists and supports the development of dedicated collection of market & technology products, as well as custom consulting projects.

Prior to Yole Group, Ezgi worked as a process development engineer for GaN-based RF and power solutions at IEMN (Lille, France).

After graduating from University of Augsburg (Germany) and Grenoble Institute of technology (France), Ezgi received her PhD in microelectronics at IEMN (France).

Taha Ayari, Ph.D., is Technology & Market Analyst, Semiconductor Substrates & Materials at Yole Group.

Taha’s expertise is mainly in power electronics with related WBG materials and emerging semiconductor substrates. He is fully engaged in the development of technology and market products, as well as custom projects.

Taha has two years’ experience as a Technology & Cost Analyst at Yole Group, where he focuses on the development of compound semiconductor reverse engineering & costing analyses.

Prior to Yole Group, Taha was a research engineer at Georgia Tech Lorraine (Metz, France). He published numerous papers with a particular focus on III-N materials.

Taha holds an MSc and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, USA).

Related products