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According to the market research report published by P&S Intelligence, the global silicon on insulator market size was valued at $684.8 million in 2018 and is projected to reach $2,285.5 million by 2024, progressing at a CAGR of 22.7% during the forecast period (2019–2024). Among product, radio-frequency front-end module (RF FEM) category is expected to exhibit the highest growth rate during the forecast period. This can be majorly attributed to the rising number of 5G development projects in the country like the U.S., China, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, and Qatar. Further, companies like GlobalFoundries and STMicroelectronics N.V. are focusing on to build advanced RF-SOI technology which could improve the performance of RF switches, power amplifiers, and low noise amplifiers to meet the 5G FEM specifications.
One of the major trends observed in the silicon on insulator market is the miniaturization of devices and decreasing cost of manufacturing chipsets to accelerate their adoption. The push for miniaturization of devices comes from the demand for smaller assemblies in specific applications and the need to cut material costs through smaller parts that function similar to larger ones. Miniaturization is leading toward the emergence of a very small devices that are primarily deploying in consumer electronics applications and automotive applications such as collision detections, infotainment systems, and navigation control.
The market for SOI is growing at an exorbitant rate, as it requires less power to extend the battery life of portable devices like smartphones, tablets, and Bluetooth-based earphones. SOI technology is much advanced than the traditional silicon technology, as it enables the manufacturing of faster computer chips with low frequency noise. Such advantages are driving the market growth of SOI, however, the self-heating effect and floating body in SOI-based devices hindering the market growth.
SOI wafer consists of buried oxide which relatively has low thermal conductivity. Since SOI-based devices like PD-SOI are thermally insulated from the substrate by the buried oxide (BOX), the SOI devices gets heat-up. This increase in device temperature leads to a reduction in current drive and mobility, thus degrading the device performance over a while.
Geographically, the APAC region is expected to showcase the considerable growth over the forecast period. This can be attributed to increasing investments by wafer manufacturers to expand their facility expansion. For instance, in March 2018, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. announced to invest $996 million (¥110 billion) to expand its production facility for its silicon business. With this investment, the company aims to expand its business footprint in the APAC region in the coming years.
Rapid development in fabrication technologies of SOIs such as smart cut, bonding, and layer transfer have increased competition in the global silicon on insulator market. The market is primarily characterized by four major companies, namely, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., SUMCO Corporation, Soitec SA, and STMicroelectronics N.V.
Market players are focusing on collaboration to increase their footprint in the market. For instance, in February 2019, Soitec SA and Shanghai Simgui Technology Co., Ltd. (Simgui) jointly announced an enhanced partnership. The purpose of the partnership is to serve RF-SOI and power-SOI products and to increase the annual production capacity of 200 mm SOIs from 180,000 to 360,000 at Simgui’s manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China. This is due to meet the increasing global demand for 200mm SOIs in response to the growing market for RF-SOI used in mobile front-end modules (FEM) and for power-SOI used in automotive and consumer electronics industries.
Some other key players operating in the silicon on insulator market include Skyworks Solutions Inc., Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., United Microelectronics Corporation, Tower Semiconductor Ltd., Shanghai Simgui Technology Co. Ltd., GlobalWafers Singapore Pte. Ltd., and GlobalFoundries U.S. Inc.
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APAC generated the highest revenue, accounting for more than 35%, in the global UV curing system market in 2018. This can be attributed to the presence of a large number of automotive and electronics manufacturing companies in the region, primarily in countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Japan.
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