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Yole: Diamond materials market for chips to top $43M

Posted: 20 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yole Developpement? diamond? manufacturing? semiconductor?

Yole Developpement has released its latest report that provides a complete analysis of the different diamonds materials including their characteristics, equipment and manufacturing processes, applications in semiconductor devices. The report also serves as a guide for short- and mid-term strategic decisions in the business, which is relatively small as of the present, but has huge long-term market potential, added the market research company.

Diamond materials have been in development for more than 50 years. Besides the traditional tooling applications (drilling, cutting, etc.), the interest in diamond continues to grow for optical and thermal applications, and for new applications in semiconductor devices such as high-power devices and high-frequency devices able to work at elevated temperatures.

In fact, diamond's unique physical and electrical properties, which include: the highest known thermal conductivity, a wide band gap, excellent electrical insulator properties, very high breakdown voltage and very high carrier mobility, make diamond an excellent candidate for electronic devices with ultimate performance.

However, the costs of diamond, as well as the remaining technology barriers limit the diamond material market to only a few applications and some high-end devices. Despite the high costs of high-quality materials, a large number of players are involved in the 2013 diamond materials market and its largest segment, R&D activities. Two scenarios for 2013-2020 diamond material market growth are presented in the report. "According to the base scenario, the diamond materials market for semiconductor devices will surpass $43M and will be represented mainly by heat spreaders used in high-power device thermal management," said Milan Rosina, market & technology analyst, compound semiconductors, at Yole Developpement.

Diamond materials market

Electronic applications such as Schottky diodes, transistors, etc., require high-quality single crystalline CVD diamond, which has superior characteristics such as high carrier mobility, long carrier lifetimes, high breakdown fields and high thermal conductivity.

High quality low-defect diamond wafers produced from diamond crystal made by High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) method are only a few mm in size. In comparison, the competing semiconductor materials such as SiC are available in wafer sizes up to 150mm. For future diamond-based active devices, it is crucial to increase the wafer size above 2in with the defect density 100cm and below. Different approaches to achieve free-standing wafers from thick diamond films are under development. A mosaic type method is currently approaching 2in wafer size, but the defect density needs to be reduced. According to Yole Developpement technology roadmap for single crystal diamond wafers, low-defect 2in wafers can be commercially available by 2016-2017.


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