The global market for Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) is expected to grow at a considerable pace over the next eight years. Rising demand across numerous applications is anticipated to be a key driving factor for the growth of SOI market over the forecast period. Growing demand for high performance and low power among microelectronics devices is projected to drive industry growth significantly.
SOI, a semiconductor wafer technology helps in the manufacturing of low power and high-performance devices as opposed to traditional bulk silicon techniques. The silicon on insulator market is anticipated to gain impetus over the forecast period owing to numerous benefits such as availability of high switching power and high-speed SOI transistors. This technology has been up surging the output yield and also proliferation in the number of chips per wafer, thus improving fabrication efficiency. The technology also offers several opportunities for innovations, performance improvement, and scaling, which is projected to impact the growth of industry favorably over the forecast period.
The silicon-on-insulator technology market has been a very niche market over the past years, however, has gained momentum and reached its maturity stage. The technology was first developed primarily for military and power applications. Wider SOI adoption began with high-performance computing application within the integrated device manufacturer (IDM) community.
SOI technology has been challenging traditional CMOS technology based on bulk silicon wafers in all sectors of the market, including RF, analog, general purpose and ultra-low power computing, photonics, memory, and MEMS in the recent past and trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. More than 60.0 % of mobile devices and 80.0 % of the game consoles produced over the past have SOI chips. This factor is expected to impact industry growth positively over the forecast period
SOI has been providing considerable performance gains over the past few years, both in terms speed and power, compared to corresponding bulk solutions. It not only allows better scaling, resulting in bulk solutions but also, simplifies the CMOS process, which is why it is an easy way to co-integrate different materials at the wafer level. These factors are expected to fuel technology demand over the next eight years.
Increasing SOI market is driven by growing demand for microprocessor and gaming consoles, rising demand from developing countries in Asia Pacific and established countries in Europe and North America and Europe is projected to impact the market positively in the next few years. Increasing demand is mainly due to their application in digital cameras, mobile phones, and notebooks. Industry growth is expected to be challenged by numerous factors such as raw material price volatility and their high cost and time-consuming manufacturing process, in addition to the intricate designing necessary in product development.
Based on the technology, the silicon on insulator market can be is segmented into epitaxial layer transfer (ELTRAN), separation by implantation of oxygen (SIMOX), bond and etch-back SOI (BESOI), silicon-on-sapphire (SOS), and smart cut technique. By product, the market is segmented into optical SOI, SOI transistor, an image sensor, RF SOI, MEMS, and Memory Device. The optical SOI covers active optical cable and SOI-based optical waveguide. The SOI-based radio frequency is further segmented into RF circuit and RF switch.
SOI products are used in numerous applications such as lightings, communication, and consumer electronics, computing & mobile, photonics, automotive, entertainment & gaming, telecom instruments, and others segments.
SOI helps in improving the performance of hand-held computing & communication devices and high-speed network servers. Additionally, the technology aids developers to work in field of direct-link entertainment, global ranking, and communications. Numerous factors such as design complexity involved in product development, volatility in raw material prices, and complicated manufacturing process are expected to challenge industry growth over the forecast period.
Geographically, the global silicon on insulator market is segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and Europe. North America and Europe are estimated to foresee significant growth over the next eight years on account of increased demand for microcontrollers and microprocessors. Mainly the U.S., Germany, France, the UK, and Italy are projected to account for highest growth in the region due to rising R&D endeavors by the companies and presence of numerous market players dedicated to developing technology.
Asia-Pacific is predicted to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period owing developing integrated circuit industry. India, China, South Korea, and Taiwan are projected to account a significant market share in the region, due to the rising industrial application, economic developments and technology adoption for various industrial operations.
The Middle East & Africa is expected to see significant growth by 2024 owing to rising urbanization, globalization, and industrialization. The market has tremendous potential primarily due to growing economic development and increasing purchasing power parity.
The key players dominating the market for silicon on insulator include IBM Corporation, ARM Holdings PLC, Free scale Semiconductors, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., STMicroelectronics, Applied Material Inc., Soitec SA, Synopsis Inc.
While few other significant players include United Microchip Corp., Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd., STMicroelectronics, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., SunEdison, and Global Foundries.
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