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China Opportunities for the Third Generation of SiC and GaN Semiconductor Materials Seen from the Success of Sapphire

time:2020-03-12 browse:5797次


Recently, a hot topic in the semiconductor industry is the continuously rising semiconductor device IGBT.


The full English name of IGBT is Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor, and the Chinese name is Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor. It has the characteristics of traditional BJT (bipolar junction transistor) and MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor). This type of product has the advantages of high switching speed, high input impedance, low loss, small control power, simple driving circuit, etc., so it can be applied to high voltage, high current, high speed and other fields. It is the most ideal switching device.


For a long time, IGBT technology has been mainly monopolized by foreign countries, mainly because there is a high threshold for entry in this field. The core is the IGBT chip in the IGBT module, which requires the chip to work in extreme environments for a long time and high frequency. Its performance It is critical to the stability of the overall device.


The latest consumer-grade IGBT chip switching power supply chips will be produced on a large scale using third-generation wide-band-gap semiconductors. Therefore, the third-generation semiconductor materials represented by silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are becoming increasingly popular. The market attaches importance to it, and in order to cope with the strong investment in the domestic Chinese market in the future, the global industry has also accelerated the integration of the third-generation semiconductor material market.


In fact, the industry has a clear understanding of the application of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) materials, and even Chinese and American manufacturers have popularized it into the field of ordinary consumer electronics. Some time ago, OPPO and Xiaomi used American company's GaN main control switch chip products as fast charging heads.


Naturally, silicon carbide (SiC) exists, but almost all of gallium nitride (GaN) comes from artificial synthesis.


In the non-semiconductor industry, China is not only the most important producer but also the most important consumer of silicon carbide (SiC). Because of its stable chemical properties, high thermal conductivity, low thermal expansion coefficient, and good abrasion resistance, silicon carbide has a huge application market in functional ceramics, advanced refractory materials, abrasives and metallurgical raw materials, and jewelry industry, and synthetic silicon carbide (SiC) powder.


In the semiconductor application industry, the silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) referred to are single crystal materials, and the production method is also completed by modern crystal growth furnaces.


Mass production of single crystal silicon carbide (SiC) was mainly developed in the former Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s using sapphire crystal growth furnaces.It was originally started in the military field to replace sapphire. Later, the market began to use single crystal silicon carbide (SiC). ) To make a variety of consumer gems.


Gallium nitride (GaN) is mainly used by Japan to develop high-efficiency LEDs, and has made important technical contributions to global energy conservation and emission reduction in the past dozen years. In the electronics industry, the production capacity of gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs has expanded, allowing its TFT LCD display backlights to gain rapid popularity, thereby accelerating the speed of replacing CRTs.


In fact, the earliest applications of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) materials in the electronics industry were in the field of LEDs. Silicon carbide (SiC) materials were used to make LEDs, even as early as 1907.


However, what allowed them to flourish in the electronics industry was during the US-Soviet military race at the time. The two sides used monocrystalline silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) materials to make various power devices to enhance space vehicles and Submarine energy conversion efficiency. Among them, the field of nuclear power batteries is the most widely used. At the same time, it has accumulated a large number of design processes and mass production experience for the large-scale use of such materials in the electronics industry.


The Chinese market uses monocrystalline silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) materials, mainly benefiting from the outbreak of the consumer jewelry foundry market after the reform and opening up, and the prosperity of China's solar photovoltaic industry in the past two decades. In order to meet the development needs of these two industries, many Chinese companies have entered the material growth process, of which ZJTT and ZJLX are typical.


Speaking of crystal growth, it is a big thing for the Chinese to make a face in the past few years. Apple and GT's sapphire storm. In the end, Apple had to pull about 2,000 stoves produced by GT into China, and finally completed by Chinese manufacturers Follow-up integration work. Since then, Apple has been purchasing a large number of sapphire crystals produced by ZJTT and ZJLX to make various protective lenses, and has also positively acknowledged the achievements of the two companies in sapphire crystal optical performance.


It can be said that in addition to the large-scale production of sapphire in the former Soviet Union, the United States, and Japan, China is the country with the most complete sapphire crystal growth and sapphire consumption applications. Like the aforementioned silicon carbide, sapphire is often used by Chinese domestic manufacturers to make consumer jewelry and abrasives.


In the field of semiconductor manufacturing, both ZJTT and ZJLX are involved in the wafer wafer test wafer growth process. ZJTT is also the most important test wafer supplier in the industry, and is also developing chip silicon wafer growth equipment and material production. At the same time, both ZJTT and ZJLX are involved in the growth of single crystal silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) materials, including growth equipment and growth capacity deployment. (GaN) long crystal equipment and single crystal materials have occupied the market leader position.


Since ZJTT and ZJLX successfully counterattacked the sapphire crystal in the market, the original suppliers in the industry are very vigilant about the two entering the field of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) crystals. One is that the two companies' capacity expansion is too fast, resulting in the industry's near-excess capacity; the other is that after the two's capacity is fully released, a de facto low-price monopoly phenomenon is formed in the industry, which is not conducive to the development of the high-priced single crystal market.


In fact, most IGBT chip manufacturers currently use silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) polished wafers for production, but directly produce them directly on silicon wafers through the MOCVD epitaxial wafer process. Because China's current LED production capacity is very concentrated, and MOCVD equipment can be produced at low prices, China also has more than half of the world's MOCVD equipment in operation.


If these equipments are compatible with silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) single crystal epitaxial processes through process adjustments, then the world's largest silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) production capacity will still be in China. In the field of LED chips, the low prices of Chinese chip manufacturers such as Sanan Optoelectronics have made it difficult for the global market to deal with them. In the future, the silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) capacities of these manufacturers will also make the global industry very vigilant. .


In addition to XMSA's large-scale investment in silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) epitaxial capacity in the past two years, everyone is more concerned about its heavy investment in silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). ) Chip business.