|Compound semiconductors now national strategic materials, says GlobalWafers chair|
Julian Ho, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES
Wednesday 30 June 2021
Compound semiconductors will become a key industry sector reaching a national strategic level in importance, as they will be badly needed to power many critical technological applications including low-orbit satellites, 5G communications, green energy, smart power grids, EVs and high-voltage components, according to Doris Hsu, chairperson of silicon wafer specialist GlobalWafers.
Hsu made the remarks when opening an online class on compound semiconductor materials and components, in her capacity as chief of the Taiwan Compound Semiconductor and Equipment Industry-Academia Consortium under the Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA).
Hsu said many countries including Taiwan now enforce strict export controls on compound semiconductors, requiring special permits for outbound shipments of such strategic materials including even semi-insulated silicon carbide (SiC). She stressed that Taiwan must develop its own technology prowess in the segment.
Hsu continued the compound semiconductor industry chain involves quite complicated and difficult processes, ranging from crystal growth, components manufacturing, and measuring to rollout of finished products, as well as supply of related equipment. Accordingly, her consortium has invited specialists from diverse fields seeking to build a complete compound semiconductor ecosystem covering both vertical and horizontal segments such as design, IP, raw materials and equipment.
Taiwan compound semiconductors makers are facing keen competition from international players, given that US-based Cree and II-VI now dominate the supply of related substrates and there are more than 1,000 Chinese companies engaged in the development and production of compound semiconductors, according to Hsu.