Global Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Market: Market Driver and Restraint
Drivers for Silicon on Insulator market include rise in demand for microcontrollers, microprocessors and gaming consoles, increasing demand in emerging countries of Asia Pacific. Other driver for rising demand in Silicon on Insulator market is their major application in mobile phones. Increasing demand can also be attributed to their application in notebooks, digital cameras and other electronic devices. Increasing usage of Silicon on Insulator in satellite communication due to communication bandwidth exponential broadening will also drive the market. Another significant market for Silicon on Insulator is military and aerospace. With increasing investment in carbon footprint reduction the market will see further growth. Rise in development of Photovoltaic technology will also drive the market. With sturdy operation capability and application in satellite sensors demand for Silicon on Insulator will increase. The major challenge faced by the market is that Silicon on Insulator has manufacturing process which is time consuming. Price volatility along with high cost of raw materials is another factor negatively impacting the market. Intricate design during product development is also the reason for less growth in the market. Opportunities for advancement in thermal capacity and radiation resistance are there.
The demand for SOI wafers is increasing at a rapid pace, but the global supply is insufficient to meet this demand. Due to this factor, there is a high possibility of chip manufacturers having very low supply. The rapid capacity expansion of Soitec is expected to meet this demand to a certain extent, and the licensing of Soitec's Smartcut™ technology to other companies is anticipated to further increase the supply.
High cost of SOI wafers is a major concern in this market. This is mainly because the number of steps involved in SOI manufacturing is more, compared to silicon wafer manufacturing. As a result, adopting SOI wafer for a particular application is likely to increase the total cost by more than 10 percent. However, in the past few years, this trend has been changing due to the increase in the competition due to which the manufacturers are forced to reduce the cost.
The key factors restraining the growth of the SOI market are the lack of available IP ecosystem and the floating body effect. The floating body effect is one of the major drawbacks of the SOI devices. It is the dependence of body potential on the history of biasing.
Global Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Market: Forecast by Product Types
Based on diameters, 200 mm SOI wafers held the largest share of the SOI market in 2017. The market for these wafers is expected to grow at a high rate between 2017 and 2025. 200 mm wafers are mainly used for manufacturing RFSOI wafers, which are further used in smartphones for manufacturing antenna switches and other important components. Currently, virtually all the RF chips, including 2G, 3G, and 4G, are manufactured by using 200 mm SOI wafers. The improvement will be primarily driven by the growth in sales volumes for 300 mm wafers and by controlling production costs on the small diameter line that is running at full capacity. The loading rate of the 300 mm production lines improved significantly, but still remains globally low.
Global Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Market: Forecast by Application
The computing and mobile segment accounted for the largest share of the overall SOI market in 2017. Power consumption is one of the burning issues faced by the consumer electronics segment. There are various issues associated with the conventional bulk CMOS technology, such as slow processing speed, high power consumption, low battery life, and soft errors such as data loss caused due to cosmic rays and natural radioactive background signals. The SOI microchip overcomes all these issues and improves the processing speed and performance by up to 30% compared with the CMOS-based chips; it also reduces the power consumption by up to 80%. These features make it ideal for use in computers and cell phones.
Global Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Market: Forecast by Technology
BESOI, ELTRAN, SoS, SiMOX and smart cut are the technology segment of the market. Smart cut technology accounted for the largest share of the SOI market in 2017. Soitec (France) developed the smart cut technology in collaboration with CEA-Leti (microelectronics research lab). The licensing of Soitec's Smartcut™ technology to other companies is anticipated to further increase the SOI wafer supply.
Global Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Market: Forecast by Region
Asia-Pacific is predicted to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period owing developing integrated circuit industry. The leading players are emphasizing on modernizing their plants in APAC and fab facilities with advanced technologies. The countries such as China (Taiwan included) and Japan have the largest semiconductor manufacturing base, which is further helping the SOI market grow in this region. The increase in production facilities, rising demand for consumer electronics products, and continuous upgradation and improved efficiency of fab facilities are the key factors driving the growth of the SOI market in APAC.
Global Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) Market: Key Players
Soitec, the world’s leading provider of SOI wafers, has been pioneering the SOI technology. This company accounted for more than 69% of the revenues of the world SOI wafers market in 2017. The other key participants in the SOI wafer market are SunEdison (acquired by Globalwafers Co., Ltd. in 2016), Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. Ltd. and a few others like SUMCO CORPORATION, Ultrasil Corporation and etc. Manufacturer are focusing on strategies such as new product launches, expansions, contracts, and collaborations to enhance their product offerings and expand their business.
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