Restrictions of conventional silicon-based semiconductor materials, such as low electron mobility, temperature sensitivity, and volatility, have increased research into substitute semiconductor materials. High-performance material is needed for faster and cheaper wireless communication, signal processing, and radar applications. At present, highly customized and cost-effective semiconductor materials, such as silicon germanium, indium phosphide, gallium arsenide, and gallium nitride, cater to these types of applications.
SiGe materials primary factor for advancement
Combining silicon materials with germanium to produce silicon-germanium (SiGe) alloy was initially industrialized by IBM for high-end computing and communications market in the early 1990s. Incorporation of SiGe technology contributes to enhanced device performance such as low-noise, high- yield, small-size, temperature resistance, and high- durability, as compared to the traditional semiconductor materials. These advantages, also cost-effectivity, make SiGe materials attractive for the automotive, military, and aerospace industry. SiGe technology has become the primary propelling factor behind the advancement of low-cost, lightweight, communication devices as well as automobile collision avoidance systems.
Further development of the silicon germanium material currently allows an expansion of bandwidth, high-frequency applications, and thermoelectric capabilities and thusly to expand opportunities to consumers across the globe. Innovation in the field of microelectronic and optoelectronic devices, photovoltaic (PV) cells and power devices have contributed to growing the SiGe market. Apart from a continuing expansion of the internet, high adoption of mobile, and tremendous growth in the global autonomous industry, several semiconductor companies are now forming partnerships with auto OEMs, telecom sector giants, and wireless network providers to compete in the market.
The market continues to expand
According to the latest market intelligence titled ‘Global Silicon Germanium Materials and Devices Market-Analysis and Forecast (2017-2021)‘, the global market for silicon germanium material and devices is anticipated to reach $5,045.3 million by 2021 and expected to register a CAGR of 13.7% from 2017-2021. During the forecast period, factors such as increasing internet traffic requiring high bandwidth functionality, continuing growth in the adoption of smartphones, and rising demands for Radio Frequency (RF) devices will be driving market growth. The high competition from III-V semiconductors is restraining the growth of the SiGe market despite its advancements.
Based on region, the market for silicon germanium materials and devices can be segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, and Rest of the World. At present, APAC is leading the market due to high demand coming from countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Japan. A further growth in this region is expected due to the increased digitization in consumer electronic goods along with the emergence of mobile broadband and wireless communication systems.