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Analysis |

The battle for SiC – the market landscape continues to change

With increased demand from booming markets such as EVs and renewable energy, the compound semiconductor business has been thriving in recent years. As businesses fight to cement their place in the sector, M&A activity has increased.

Over the past several years, the market has witnessed a considerable increase in M&A transactions. Between 2006 to 2017, there was only one transaction every two years, but since 2018, there have been six transactions yearly, exceeding historical records, as pointed out by TrendForce.

Out of 31 SiC and GaN M&A transactions since 2006, 21 of the deals have a direct SiC connection. This is mainly due to after its development over 20 years, SiC has been able to be mass-produced for market demands, especially in the automotive sector where SiC has established itself as a mainstream technology.

As seen by the frequency of M&A, US and European industry heavyweights including Wolfspeed, Onsemi, II-VI, STMicro, and Infineon have started accelerating vertical integration in recent years.

Looking at the US, 12 M&A transactions have occurred, with only four of them taking place before 2018, and Wolfspeed was involved in three of them. To address market demands, Onsemi, II-VI, and Macom have led various deals over the last three years with an emphasis on SiC's vertical integration.

Since 2006 there have been eight M&A transactions in Europe in total, all of which occurred in 2018 and later, with ST and Infineon serving as the key participants. To keep their competitive edge in the SiC power device sector, both businesses have been strategically acquiring technological expertise.

As pointed out by TrendForce and illustrated by the data is that major businesses in the sector are primarily responsible for the high frequency of M&As in the US and Europe, which are steadily reshaping the market's landscape.

Attention should also be directed to M&A deals amongst semiconductor equipment businesses. Recent acquisitions of LPE and Epiluvac by ASM and Veeco show that equipment makers have also recognised the enormous potential of the SiC sector and are stepping up their investment.

According to the most recent data from TrendForce, the overall market for SiC power devices is expected to increase at a rate of 41.4% per year to reach USD 2.28 billion by 2023 and USD 5.33 billion by 2026, with a 35% annual growth rate.

But the present market boom also brings a new problem: a lack of supply. Despite attempts by corporations to increase production, one of the main barriers to industry expansion is the lack of SiC substrate material.

RegionAcquiring companyYearTarget companyTargeted business
USAWolfspeed2006Intrinsic SemiconductorSiC Substrate
2016WATERSiC power module
2018Infineon (RF Division)GaN-on-SiC RF devices
On Semi2021GTATSiC ingot
II-VI2020INNOViON CorporationIon Implanter
2020Ascatron ABSiC epitaxy
Qorvo2021UnitedSiCSiC power device design
Transphom2021AFSWGaN wafer fabrication
MACOM2023OMMIC SASGaN and GaAs manufacturing
Veeco2023Epiluvac ABEpitaxial equipment
Navitas2022GeneSiCSiC device design
Littelfuse2018Monolith SemiconductorSiC power device design
EuropeST2019Norstel ABSiC wafer fabrication
2020ExaganGaN power device design
Infineon2018Siltectra GmbHSiC wafer cold cutting
2023GaN SystemsGaN power conversion solution
Soitec2019EpiGaNGaN epitaxy
2021NOVASiCSiC wafer polishing
BelGan2022On Semi (Factory in Belgium)GaN wafer fabrication
ASM2022LPESiC epitaxial equipment
JapanShowa Denko2008ESICAT Japan LLPSiC epitaxy
2017Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metals 
(SiC manufacturing business)
SiC crystal growth by PVT method
Rohm2009SiCrystalSiC substrate
Kyocera2020SLD LaserGaN laser source
Advantest2022CREATESSemiconductor test
South KoraSK Group2019DuPont (SiC Division)SiC substrate
2021Yes PowerSiC design and manufacturing
LX Semicon2021LG Innotek 
(some equipment and patents)
SiC power device design
IV Works2022Saint-Gobain 
(GaN substrate business)
GaN substrate
ChinaChina Resources Micro2022Runxin MicroGaN device design and fabrication
Jingfang Technology2023VisIC (51.7% stake)GaN power device design
SiC and GaN M&A activity between 2006 to 2023

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July 23 2024 1:29 am V22.5.13-2