Silicon Carbide Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers

June 20, 2024

Latest company news about Silicon Carbide Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers


The global demand for high-performance semiconductor materials is driving rapid growth in the Silicon Carbide (SiC) market. The electrical and thermal advantages of SiC make it highly applicable in high-voltage, high-frequency power devices, particularly in fields such as electric vehicles, power management, and 5G communications. Market research firm Yole Développement predicts that from 2023 to 2029, the SiC device market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25%, with the total market value exceeding $10 billion.


Unique Properties of SiC Materials


SiC materials have a wider bandgap, higher electron mobility, and higher dielectric breakdown field strength compared to traditional silicon materials. These characteristics enable excellent performance in high-temperature and high-voltage environments. However, the processing technology for SiC is relatively complex, posing new technical challenges for semiconductor equipment manufacturers.


Transition from 6-Inch to 8-Inch Wafers


Currently, 6-inch SiC wafers are the market standard, but the industry is transitioning to 8-inch wafers to improve production efficiency and reduce costs. Wolfspeed is the first company to partially produce 8-inch SiC wafers, and several other IDMs and SiC wafer manufacturers have also showcased their 8-inch samples, with plans to start shipments in 2025. This shift requires adjustments or redesigns of existing production equipment to accommodate the production needs of larger wafers.

As the SiC market expands and technology advances, semiconductor equipment manufacturers need to continuously innovate and optimize production equipment to meet the demand for SiC materials and address processing technology challenges, ensuring product quality and performance. The commercialization of 8-inch SiC wafers is expected to further promote the production and application of SiC devices.

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Rise of the Chinese Market


The influence of the Chinese market in the SiC field is rapidly growing. Data indicates that Chinese enterprises held over one-third of the SiC wafer and epitaxial market share in 2023. While domestic equipment manufacturing is not yet fully self-sufficient, technological advancements and capacity expansions suggest that China's competitiveness in the global market will gradually strengthen. This trend not only brings new market opportunities for global equipment suppliers but also intensifies market competition.


Diversified Demand in Equipment Market


The demand in the SiC equipment market is becoming increasingly diversified, covering a wide range from epitaxial tools, ion implanters, diffusion furnaces to thermal oxidation machinery. It is projected that between 2024 and 2029, the epitaxial equipment market will achieve cumulative revenues of $4.3 billion, while the ion implanter market for SiC is expected to reach revenues of $4.9 billion. Additionally, cumulative revenues for diffusion furnaces and thermal oxidation machinery during the same period are forecasted to be $1.4 billion. Metrology and inspection (M&I) tools, crucial for detecting defects in SiC wafers and device processing, are anticipated to generate cumulative revenues of $5.7 billion from 2024 to 2029.


Market Strategies for Equipment Manufacturers


In the SiC equipment market, the landscape varies among different types of equipment suppliers. The market for SiC ion implanters and annealing tools is relatively concentrated, with major shares held by established leaders. Meanwhile, the market for etching tools suppliers is still evolving, with numerous participants striving to increase market share. Equipment manufacturers need to enhance competitiveness through technological innovation and market strategies to capitalize on market opportunities.

Future Outlook


With the continued growth of the SiC market, semiconductor equipment manufacturers face new opportunities and challenges. The unique properties of SiC materials and the demand for high-temperature processes are driving the need for specialized equipment and tools, offering market potential for equipment suppliers. At the same time, intensified market competition and increased technical requirements place higher demands on innovation capability and market strategies for equipment suppliers.


Looking ahead, semiconductor equipment manufacturers need to closely follow market trends, enhance technological capabilities, and establish partnerships to elevate their market position and technological standards. Strengthening research and development in high-temperature processes and large wafer processing is crucial to adapt to the evolving SiC market. Through these efforts, equipment suppliers can seize opportunities, address challenges, and achieve sustainable growth in the rapidly developing SiC market.


ZMSH advantages


The 8-inch SiC wafer offers several advantages, particularly when considering our company, ZMSH:

  1. Increased Production Efficiency: ZMSH can leverage the larger surface area of 8-inch SiC wafers to enhance production efficiency. This size allows for more chips per wafer, optimizing manufacturing output and reducing production costs per unit.

  2. Improved Device Performance: With our expertise at ZMSH, utilizing 8-inch SiC wafers can lead to improved device performance. The larger area provides more space for complex circuitry and higher integration levels, enhancing overall device functionality and reliability.

  3. Cost-effectiveness: ZMSH can capitalize on economies of scale associated with 8-inch SiC wafers. The larger wafer size reduces material and manufacturing costs per unit area, potentially offering cost advantages over smaller wafer sizes.

  4. Market Competitiveness: By adopting 8-inch SiC wafers, ZMSH can strengthen its position in the competitive SiC market. This size is becoming increasingly standard, meeting the growing demand for high-performance semiconductor materials in applications such as electric vehicles, power management, and telecommunications.

  5. Technological Leadership: Embracing 8-inch SiC wafers demonstrates ZMSH's commitment to technological leadership and innovation in semiconductor manufacturing. This positions the company as a key player capable of meeting the evolving needs of advanced electronic and optoelectronic devices.

In summary, the transition to 8-inch SiC wafers aligns with ZMSH's strategic goals of enhancing production efficiency, improving device performance, achieving cost-effectiveness, maintaining market competitiveness, and demonstrating technological leadership in the SiC semiconductor industry.


Given the situation, ZMSH can offer you the following SiC wafers:


①8inch 200mm Polishing Silicon Carbide Ingot Substrate Sic Chip Semiconductor(click the picture go to the specification page)


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The advantages of 8-inch SiC wafers include:

  1. Increased Yield: 8-inch wafers provide a larger surface area compared to smaller sizes, allowing more devices to be fabricated per wafer. This scalability enhances production efficiency and reduces manufacturing costs per unit.

  2. Enhanced Device Performance: The larger size of 8-inch wafers enables the integration of more complex circuits and higher device densities. This results in improved device performance, including higher speed and reliability.

  3. Cost Efficiency: Economies of scale associated with 8-inch wafers contribute to cost efficiency in manufacturing processes. The reduced cost per unit area lowers overall production costs and makes SiC devices more competitive in the market.

  4. Industry Standardization: Increasing adoption of 8-inch wafers as an industry standard facilitates compatibility and interoperability across different manufacturing processes and equipment.

  5. Technological Advancements: Advances in manufacturing technologies for 8-inch wafers enable finer features and tighter process control, leading to higher yields and better device performance.

  6. Market Competitiveness: Using 8-inch SiC wafers positions companies like ours at the forefront of technological innovation and competitiveness in the semiconductor industry, meeting the growing demand for high-performance devices in sectors such as automotive, telecommunications, and power electronics.

Overall, the transition to 8-inch SiC wafers offers significant advantages in terms of yield, performance, cost efficiency, standardization, technological advancements, and market competitiveness.



②Rectangular SiC dies​


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Square SiC dies offer several advantages and wide-ranging applications compared to traditional circular dies:

  1. High Space Utilization Efficiency:

    Square dies can effectively utilize the surface area of wafers, especially on 8-inch SiC wafers, accommodating more dies compared to circular ones, thereby enhancing production efficiency and reducing costs.
  2. High Integration Density:

    The design of square dies allows for more complex circuits and a higher number of device units, enhancing integration density. This is crucial for manufacturing high-performance and high-density integrated circuits.
  3. Superior Thermal Management:

    Due to their closer-to-rectangular edges, square dies facilitate effective thermal management, crucial for applications requiring high-temperature operations such as electric vehicles, energy conversion, and power management systems.
  4. Optimized Layout and Connectivity:

    Square dies enable easier optimization of layout and connectivity, especially in multi-chip modules and system packaging. This optimization helps improve signal transmission speed and reduce signal interference.

Square SiC dies find extensive applications in high-power electronic devices like power modules, inverters, and rectifiers. Their high thermal conductivity and voltage endurance enable stable operation in high-temperature and high-voltage environments. In optoelectronics, they are used for manufacturing photodiodes, laser diodes, and other optical sensors, benefiting from their wide bandgap characteristics and excellent optical performance. In automotive applications, square SiC dies play a critical role in power electronic systems for electric vehicles, including motor drives, battery management systems, and fast chargers, contributing to improved performance and efficiency.

Overall, square SiC dies offer significant technological advantages and a wide range of applications in high-power electronics, optoelectronics, and automotive sectors, thanks to their high space utilization efficiency, integration density, superior thermal management, and optimized layout and connectivity.