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Analysts Help CS International To Hit A New High
Richard Stevenson, CS International Conference Programme Manager and CS Magazine Editor reflects on the 2015 event.
Leading analysts highlight opportunities to increase compound semiconductor chip sales.
Now in its fifth year, CS International hit a new high with its strongest ever line-up of speakers.
At this recent meeting, more than 300 delegates gained insight into the potential of the compound semiconductor industry in areas such as lighting, GaAs microelectronics, and mainstream microprocessors thanks in part to presentations from leading market analysts.
In the lighting market, sales of LEDs are on the rise, partly due to the phasing out of incandescent sources in many countries. By 2018 it is expected that more than half of all revenue from bulbs will come from the sales of lamps incorporating solid-state sources, according to William Rhodes from IHS Technology.
A surge in chip sales is also expected in devices emitting at shorter wavelengths. "The UV LED market will increase from $90 million in 2014 to $500 million in 2019," remarked Pars Mukish, an analyst at Yole Développement.
The GaAs microelectronics sector is also enjoying good times. An initial estimate provided by Eric Higham from Strategy Analytics suggests that in 2014 sales will hit $6.6 billion - but he added that this figure might be revised upwards, and could reach $7 billion. The launch of CMOS PAs is yet to deliver a significant dent to GaAs sales, but Higham believes silicon is a threat, and expects this type of device to have a 20 percent share of the market by 2018.
In contrast, in the microprocessor sector, silicon is under threat from III-Vs. Here, InGaAs is viewed as a promising replacement for silicon in the channels of transistors, as this would enable a continuation of Moore's Law throughout this decade and beyond. Mike Corbett of Linx Consulting is predicting that at around 2016 Intel will launch ICs formed from 7 nm node transistors sporting III-V channels. Foundries are tipped to follow suit at the start of the next decade.
And that's not all of the opportunities for compound semiconductors: Asif Anwar from Strategy Analytics believes that despite difficult conditions surrounding defence spending, sales of GaAs and GaN RF chips will increase substantially over the next few years; Karl Melkonyan, IHS Technology, thinks that increased deployment of solar technologies in the regions of the world where sunlight is most intense will underpin the growth of the CPV market; and Pierric Gueguen from Yole Développement predicts that sales of wide bandgap devices will take off in this decade.
A more detailed overview of the talks given by the analysts at CS International will appear in the April&May edition of Compound Semiconductor magazine.