The global silicon on insulator market size was valued at USD 1,630 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 5,430 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14.3% during the forecast period (2022–2030). In contrast to conventional silicon, silicon on insulator technology refers to the use of stacked silicon-insulator-silicon substrate in producing semiconductors. The industry's current fabrication method can be employed with this technology without requiring additional production equipment or retooling. Technology based on silicon on insulator has many advantages, including excellent performance, power savings, low leakage, no latch-up, compatibility, and simplicity of scalability. The silicon on insulators is expanding due to a rise in demand for microelectronic devices with low power, high performance, and small form factors.
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Use of SoI Wafers in Consumer Electronics
Consumer electronics items, including tablets, smartphones, wearable technology, and electric vehicles, all contain silicon on insulator (SoI). Due to the isolation from the bulk silicon, this is utilized in electrical devices to reduce parasitic capacitance, which improves power consumption at matching performance. To reduce parasitic capacitance inside the machine and increase overall functionality, silicon on insulator (SoI) technology fabricates silicon semiconductor products in a multilayer silicon insulator substrate. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic device use has recently increased in the IT, healthcare, and educational sectors, which presents an opportunity for the SoI market. Consequently, a rise in demand for these goods is fueling the expansion of the global SoI market.
Benefits Associated with SoI
SoI offers reliability, speed, and hardness beyond traditional technologies, which increases operational performance due to operation at low voltage. High-performance circuit design pays a lot of consideration to silicon on insulators. Many major chipmakers, including Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, and Intel Corporation, are interested in commercializing SoI technology. Additionally, the demand for SoI devices in the consumer electronics sector has been spurred by the desire to reduce power consumption in various mobile and portable devices. Numerous manufacturers have switched from bulk silicon technology to SoI-based devices due to a slight reorganization of the chip fabrication techniques. This feature drives market growth at a faster pace.
Self-heating Effects in SoI Based Devices
In SoI-based devices, an active thin silicon body is set on silicon oxide, a decent thermal insulator. During the tasks of these gadgets, the power consumed by this active thin body is not dispersed effectively and causes a rise in its temperature. This rise in the temperature of the active thin body diminishes the current and mobility in SoI-based devices, which may reduce or harm their performance. So, the self-heating effects in SoI-based devices act as restraints to the growth of the SoI market.
Increased Use of SoI Technology in IoT Devices and Applications
Due to high-growth IoT applications, high energy efficiency and ultra-low power operation are robust requirements. Common IoT devices are nothing but wireless sensor nodes (WSNs) linking through a network. These nodes are spatially distributed, which analyzes the environmental situations through transferring data over the network. These must be autonomous for most IoT applications; hence, versatility and energy management become critical issues for these devices. In such ultra-low power IoT applications, there is a need for ultra-low power, ultra-low leakage, ultra-low voltage, and cost-effective technology. So, FD-SoI technology is a very effective solution that gives flexibility between low leakage and high performance. Also, FD-SoI is a planar technology, which is cheaper as compared to the 3D FinFET technology. Such features create immense potential for the market.
The global silicon on insulator market is segmented based on wafer size, type, technology, product, application, and region.
By wafer size, the global silicon on insulator market is segmented into 200 MM and 300 MM wafers.
The 300 MM segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15.4% during the forecast period. The rise in demand for 300 MM SoI wafers from the CMOS application segment leads to market growth. The latest trend in the market is the use of 300 MM SoI wafers in an optical communication system to boost the data transfer rate. APAC is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the SoI market, which is likely to create several opportunities in the market.
200 MM is the second-largest segment. The high demand for 200 MM SoI wafers from RF and smart power for the automotive segment drives the global SoI market. The latest trend is the use of 200 MM wafers in fabricating several types of ICs, such as specialty memories, image sensors, display drivers, microcontrollers, analog products, and MEMS-based devices. High demand for smartphones and consumer electronics devices from emerging economies is expected to create a lucrative opportunity in the SoI market.
By wafer type, the global silicon on insulator market is divided into RF-SoI, FD-SoI, PD-SoI, and Others.
The FD-SoI segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.8% during the forecast period. FD-SoI technology gives improved speed, reduced power, and a more straightforward manufacturing process than bulk silicon technologies, which is the key driving factor for the market growth. Adoption of FD-SoI in automotive, IoT, and other applications is the latest trend in the market. In end use, the automotive sector is an emerging application area for FD-SoI technology due to its inherent radiation tolerance, further contributing to the market's growth.
The RF-SoI segment is the fastest growing. The use of RF front-end modules in cell phones leads to the development of RF-SoI in the global market. The RF components are integrated into an RF front-end module, which manages the transmit/receive functions. The latest trends are adopting RF-SoI in first generation 5G sub-6 GHz technology. Also, the rapidly growing communication sector is expected to create several opportunities in the global market.
By technology, the global silicon on insulator market is segmented into BESoI, SiMOX, Smart Cut, ELTRAN, and SoS.
The Smart Cut segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15.4% during the forecast period. Various features of smart cut technology, such as layers, can be engineered with no defects on the transferred layer, wafer bonding, and reusable donor substrate drive the market globally. The use of smart cut technology in 5G, narrow band, and LiFi are the latest trend in the market. Rapid growing fields such as image sensing, MEMS pressure sensors, and others are expected to create opportunities in the global smart cut SoI technology market.
The BESoI segment is the second largest. Due to the thermal Si/SiO2 interface between the SoI layer and the insulator BESOI silicon on the insulator, it is widely used and also leads to market growth. In addition, using BESOI technology in analog and digital CMOS applications is the latest market trend. The power electronics sector will likely create a lucrative opportunity in the BESOI market. Recently introduced, ultra-thin bond and etch-back silicon on insulator (BESOI) in the thickness range of 75 to 100 mm offers the potential for performance enhancement in both CMOS and BiCMOS technology.
By product, the global silicon on insulator market is categorized into Optical Communication, Image Sensing, MEMS, Power, and RF FEM.
The RF FEM segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 16.3% during the forecast period. The rise in the number of cell phones globally drives the RF FEM market. In addition, usages of RF FEM in antenna elements are the latest market trends. Furthermore, growth in the communication segment is expected to create a lucrative opportunity in the RF FEM SoI market.
The Power segment is the second largest. Benefits of power SoI products such as size reduction, better efficiency, & lower cost drive the growth of the global market. The latest market trend is smart power technology, which enables single chip integration of the power conversion stages, security features (temperature or overload control), remote management & other analog and digital functions. In February 2019, Soitec and China's SoI wafer leader Simgui announced an enhanced partnership and increased the production capacity of SoI wafers in China, securing future growth. The two companies redefined their manufacturing & licensing relationship to better serve the growing global market for power SoI in the automotive and consumer electronics segment.
By application, the global silicon on insulator market is segmented into datacom & telecom, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, photonics, and others.
The Consumer Electronics segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% during the forecast period. SoI components are widely adopted in SoI wafers such as RF-SoI and FD-SoI; these are the integral components of consumer electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The adoption of the SoI wafer is expected to increase in the near future, owing to the exponential growth of the consumer electronics products market.
The Automotive segment is the second largest. It has an automated setup and an enhanced user experience. The potential benefits of SoI include placing high-voltage and low-voltage devices on a single chip, saving space and cost, simplifying designs and models, and improving performance, thereby cutting development costs and improving time to market. The rise in demand for automation in vehicles, the surge in demand for electric cars, high competition in the automotive industry to control pollution, and the increase in the trend of driverless cars are some of the major factors that fuel the demand for SoI wafer in the automotive industry across the globe.
APAC Commands Leading Market Position
By region, the global silicon on insulator market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific is the highest shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15% over the forecast period. A rise in investments by wafer manufacturers and foundry players in emerging economies in this region leads to the growth of the silicon on insulator market. The use of SoI technology in consumer electronics, due to its benefits such as the availability of high switching power and high-speed SoI transistors, is trending these days. Adopting automation solutions across the retail industry to avoid human intervention and the growing use of SoI technology in IoT devices and applications create opportunities in the market. Thus, the Asia-Pacific region has lucrative potential for the growth of the silicon on insulator market.
North America is the second-largest region and is projected to reach USD 1,310 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14%. North America is projected to witness an increase in silicon on insulator demand primarily driven by the expansion of the consumer electronics and semiconductor industry. Owing to rising environmental awareness among customers & government policies in the North American region, the surge in demand for SoI wafers from the automotive market has been witnessed where it is used in electric cars. In addition, using SoI technology in IoT devices and applications is the latest market trend. Modern technologies such as virtual reality and self-driving vehicles create lucrative opportunities in the SoI market.