The RF-SOI wafer type segment accounted for the largest share of the SOI market in 2018. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the wide acceptance of RF-SOI in advanced Long-term Evolution (LTE) smartphones. Almost all smartphones use RF-SOI wafers in their RF Front-end Modules (FEMs) and antenna switches. Leading players offering RF-SOI include Soitec (France), Shin-Etsu Chemical (Japan), GlobalWafers (Taiwan), and Simgui (China). Moreover, foundry players are also launching new wafers based on RF-SOI in the market. For instance, in September 2018, GlobalFoundries (US) started the production of its mobile-optimized 8SW 300 mm based on the RF-SOI technology platform. 300 mm RF-SOI is used in FEM applications, including 5G, IoT, and wireless communication.
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The smart cut technology segment is expected to lead the SOI market during the forecast period. Smart cut technology is a proprietary technology of Soitec (France) and is used for wafer bonding and layer splitting. Soitec offers this technology to most of its wafer manufacturing partners, including Shin-Etsu Chemical (Japan) and Simgui (China). Smart cut technology enables wafer manufacturers to transfer a thin layer of crystalline material from one substrate to another. Moreover, this technology is more flexible as compared to other technologies. It offers high uniformity and excellent bonding interface in wafers and controls their thickness variability.
Europe is expected to lead the SOI market in 2019. The market in Europe is projected to experience increased traction during the forecast period due to the presence of several leading players such as Soitec (France) and STMicroelectronics (Switzerland) in this region. Moreover, it is also a hub for automotive players. Ongoing technological advancements in its automotive sector are expected to increase the demand for SOI wafer-based products in the region, thereby fueling the growth of SOI market in Europe.
Soitec (France), Shin-Etsu Chemical (Japan), GlobalWafers (Taiwan), SUMCO Corporation (Japan), Simgui (China), GlobalFoundries (US), TowerJazz (Israel), Sony (Japan), WaferPro (US), STMicroelectronics N.V. (Switzerland), NXP Semiconductor N.V. (Netherlands), Ineda Systems (India), Evaderis (France), Murata Manufacturing (Japan), Skyworks Solutions (US), Qorvo (US), MagnaChip Semiconductor (South Korea), UMC (Taiwan), TSMC (Taiwan), Qualcomm (US), Silicon Valley Microelectronics (US), and EV Group (UK) are some of the major companies operating in the SOI market.
The silicon on insulator market for automotive application expected to grow with the highest CAGR between 2019 and 2024. This growth is mainly attributed to the increasing investments being made by automotive giants and other business leaders for the development of Advanced Driver-assistance Systems (ADAS) and driverless cars. For instance, Audi (Germany) is making efforts to integrate FD-SOI with devices or sensors used in its autonomous cars. These cars require high-speed, low-power, and compact electronic devices for their operations. This, in turn, leads to the increased demand for SOI-based wafers. Moreover, other products in autonomous cars that use FD-SOI
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