Vendors of third-generation semiconductors including GaN and SiC (silicon carbide) are stepping up regional production and marketing deployments to better explore immense demand for 5G communication and future-car applications in China and non-China markets, according to industry sources.
Japan-based Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI), now dominating up to 70% of global supply of III-V chips for 5G base station applications, has recently decided to diversify production to the US in addition to its manufacturing operations in Japan, the sources said.
SEI’s plant in the US will mainly produce GaN-on-SiC devices for Europe’s telecom equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia and their American counterparts, with its supply chain partners including US-based II-VI offering SiC substrates and Taiwan’s Win Semiconductor providing GaN foundry services, the sources added.
US-based SiC material supplier Cree is also expanding its production and sales deployments. The company’s subsidiary Wofspeed, dedicated to GaN and SiC power and RF solutions, has teamed up with US-listed MaxLiner (MXL) to develop ultra-wideband GaN-on-SiC linearization solutions that enable 5G base stations to support more high-speed data for mobile users, the sources said. Cree now can volume produce semi-insulated and conductive SiC substrates for 8-inch SiC chips to serve global clients including first-tier automakers.
IDM NXP has also integrated GaN Technology in production of its multi-chip modules, effectively boosting performance capability of the modules by 8%, the sources indicated.
China’s third-generation semiconductor vendors are also aggressively raising funds from the capital market in addition to financial support from the government, seeking to deepen deployments in the development and production of new III-V semiconductor materials for 5G and future-vehicle applications, the sources said. DigiTimes