The global silicon on insulator (SOI) market size is projected to grow from USD 1.0 billion in 2020 to USD 2.2 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 15.7% from 2020 to 2025. Advancements in smartphones, tablets, earphones/headphones, and wearables are expected to fuel the growth of the market for consumer electronics, which use SOI wafers. Moreover, the rising adoption of SOI-based devices in advanced applications such as autonomous cars is also creating growth opportunities for the SOI market.
Effective use of silicon during the manufacturing of thin SOI wafers and low operating voltage and high performance of SOI-based devices are some of the factors expected to contribute to the growth of the SOI market across the globe. The flourishing Integrated Circuit (IC) industry, expanding SOI ecosystem in APAC, and increasing use of SOI in IoT applications act as growth opportunities for the SOI market during the forecast period.
The SOI market for 300 mm wafer size is expected to grow at a higher CAGR than the market for 200 mm and less than 200 mm wafer size during the forecast period. This growth of the market for 300 mm wafer size can be attributed to the increasing adoption of organic and inorganic growth strategies by SOI manufacturers for the development of 300 mm SOI wafers. For instance, in June 2018, TowerJazz (Israel) announced the expansion of the RF-SOI 65 nm process in its 300 mm Uozu, Japan fab.
The RF-SOI wafer type segment accounted for the largest share of the SOI market in 2019. For data transmission over 2G, 3G, and 4G/ Long-term Evolution (LTE), mobile devices require dedicated Front-end Modules (FEMs). These FEMs use RF-SOI chips, which integrate switches, power amplifiers, antenna tuning components, power management units, and filters on a single platform. As these chips need to transmit a large amount of data over a long distance, they require RF-SOI wafers. This, in turn, fuels the demand for RF-SOI wafer types across the globe.
The consumer electronics application segment accounted for the largest share of the SOI market in 2019. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the increasing global demand for compact electronic devices, have low power consumption, offer high operational speed, and have extended battery life. Increasing use of RF-SOI in smartphones and wearables and rising adoption of FD-SOI in IoT applications also spur the growth of the consumer electronics application segment of the SOI market. For instance, Xiaomi (China), a subsidiary of Huami (US) and a leading manufacturer of wearables, incorporated 28 nm FD-SOI GPS of Sony (Japan) in its Amazfit smartwatch.
Europe led the SOI market in 2019. The presence of leading SOI wafer manufacturers such as Soitec (France) and STMicroelectronics N.V. (Switzerland) in Europe is contributing to the growth of the SOI market in the region. Smart cut, a patented technology of Soitec that is used by wafer manufacturers, accounted for a majority share of the global SOI market in 2019. The presence of key automotive companies in this region is also fueling the growth of the SOI market in Europe.
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