Global Silicon on Insulator Market: Overview
Silicon on insulator (SOI) is a chip manufacturing technology that uses layered silicon–insulator–silicon substrates instead of the conventional bulk silicon and is used in making advanced semiconductor devices. The continued demand for miniaturization of electronic devices and advances in microprocessor design are seminal developments leading to the evolution of the silicon on insulator market. SOI wafers and transistors find wide applications in microelectronics to make advanced complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit (IC) fabrication.
SOI-based devices are extensively used in a number of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) since they can lower stray device capacitance, thereby significantly improving device performance. Over the forecast period, the silicon on insulator market is expected to witness a bright prospect in the next-generation microprocessor design and wafer engineering technology.
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Global Silicon on Insulator Market: Key Trends
The silicon on insulator market is primarily driven by the rising demand for scaling of CMOS ICs, low cost of wafers, advances in the consumer electronics market, and miniaturization of semiconductor devices. The need for reducing power consumption in a variety of mobile and portable devices has fuelled the demand for SOI devices in the consumer electronic industry. In recent years, top chipmakers such as IBM, Advanced Micro Devices, and Intel Corporation have taken surging interest in the commercialization of SOI technology. This is expected to open up lucrative avenues in the silicon on insulator market. The minor restructuring in the current chip fabrication methods has enabled several manufactures to shift from the bulk silicon technology to the SOI-based devices.
Global Silicon on Insulator Market: Market Potential
Continuous efforts are being made by companies in the semiconductor and electronics industry to mainstream SOI technology by bringing improvements in their chip fabrication process. Fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) has proven to be a simplified process technology that helps in the marked miniaturization of transistors and dramatically improves the performance of SOI devices.
NXP Semiconductors N.V., a global semiconductor manufacturer based out of Netherlands, has announced in March, 2017 that it is first to market its innovative applications processor design by using FD-SOI technology. The manufacturer revealed that coupling its multiple domain architecture with FD-SOI enables it to dramatically reduce power consumption, especially improving dynamic power with as much as 50% compared to its previous i.MX 7 devices.
The design offers an intuitive user-experience by allowing unprecedentedly high energy-efficient graphics acceleration. In addition, the design is capable of low power standby modes and robust visual displays in a single processor. The intelligent power system architecture is attributed to the design’s extremely high operating voltage scalability. The company announced that the processor design will prove immensely helpful in enhancing the capabilities of numerous IoT, home control, and wearable devices, since they require excellent graphics processing.
Global Silicon on Insulator Market: Regional Outlook
Europe and North America are prominent markets for SOI technologies. The growth of the regional markets is mainly driven by the surging application of SOI technology in a number of mobile devices and consumer electronics and the soaring application of semiconductors in gaming consoles. Asia Pacific is expected to offer lucrative market avenues over the forecast period. The increasing demand for the SOI technology in this region is attributed to the constant advances made in miniaturization of electronic devices, especially in emerging nations, and the growing demand for advanced microprocessing technologies in computers.
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Global Silicon on Insulator Market: Competitive Analysis
The silicon on insulator market ecosystem consists of raw material suppliers, vendors, system integrators, chip manufacturers, and original equipment manufacturer. Several chip manufactures are actively making improvements in their fabrication processes to adopt SOI technology. This helps them ramp up the production of SOI-based devices and gain a competitive edge over others. Leading players are opting for partnerships to consolidate their presence in emerging markets. Major players operating in the silicon on insulator market include Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., GlobalWafers Co., Ltd., Soitec, Wafer World Inc., Ultrasil Corporation, IBM, and Intel Corporation.