[News] Major Acquisition in SiC/GaN Semiconductor Industry Concludes as Infineon Completes GaN Systems Purchase

2023-10-26 Semiconductors editor

What started as a groundbreaking acquisition in the SiC/GaN third-generation semiconductor and power semiconductor sector came to a satisfying conclusion on October 24th.

In March 2023, the leading power semiconductor manufacturer, Infineon, announced its plan to acquire GaN Systems, a top Canadian producer of GaN chips, for $830 million. After over half a year of negotiations and regulatory approvals, the transaction officially closed on October 24, 2023. With this, GaN Systems is now officially part of Infineon, and the synergistic effect of this powerhouse alliance is set to make a significant impact.

Currently, Infineon boasts a workforce of 450 GaN technology experts and holds more than 350 GaN technology patents. GaN Systems, on the other hand, ranks among the world’s top five GaN power device manufacturers. According to TrendForce’s “2023 GaN Power Device Market Analysis Report-Part 1,” GaN Systems held a 12% market share based on revenue in 2022, securing the fifth spot globally. In addition, GaN Systems made early inroads into the high-growth automotive power semiconductor market and secured orders from renowned automaker BMW.

From a technological, application, customer base, and market influence perspective, it’s evident that the acquisition of GaN Systems complements Infineon’s position in compound semiconductor and power semiconductor market. This collaboration creates synergies that significantly benefit Infineon.

As Infineon stated, this move further expands their leadership in the power semiconductor sector and substantially reduces the time to market for new products. Both companies complement each other in terms of intellectual property, a deep understanding of applications, and well-established customer project planning, providing a highly favorable environment for Infineon to meet the demands of various rapidly growing applications.

The landscape of the GaN power semiconductor market may undergo significant changes

In the future, the competition landscape within the entire compound semiconductor market, especially in the GaN power semiconductor sector, is likely to undergo significant changes, marking the onset of an integration phase in industry chain competition.

As for the GaN power component market, up until 2023, Infineon had not secured a position among the world’s top manufacturers. However, following the merger, Infineon is poised to join the top ranks. Based on 2022 data, TrendForce’s estimate indicate that the combined market share of both companies could reach 15%, on par with EPC’s 2022 market share of 15%, and there is a potential for surpassing it in the future.

For the compound semiconductor market, it’s worth noting that, in addition to acquiring GaN Systems this year, Infineon has been making further inroads into the GaN field. In simple terms, its involvement in the GaN power semiconductor market is continuously strengthening.

In May of this year, Infineon announced its participation in a collaborative European research project named “ALL2GaN,” joined by 45 partner organizations, with a project budget of €60 million. The project is focused on developing integrated GaN power designs from chips to modules, primarily catering to applications in telecommunications, data centers, and server facilities. Infineon leads the ALL2GaN project, with other participants including imec, a Belgian microelectronics research center, Nexperia, Ericsson, and other enterprises.

Through accumulating expertise from this project, Infineon’s influence in the European GaN power semiconductor field is expected to further enhance. In the Asian market, Infineon operates a factory in Malaysia, with a current focus on SiC (Silicon Carbide). GaN Systems has established offices in Shenzhen and Taiwan, demonstrating an increased commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.

GaN Systems has also reinforced its presence in the European and American markets. Firstly, its Canadian headquarters in Ottawa has undergone a threefold expansion. Secondly, GaN Systems has inaugurated a new design center in Dallas, Texas, gradually expanding its business scope in North America and Europe, while comprehensively advancing its global expansion plan.

Considering these developments, Infineon is poised to conduct its global operations more effectively, gaining a more influential role in the GaN power semiconductor market. This is expected to lead to a gradual increase in business scale and market share.

Furthermore, the collaboration between these two industry giants is set to catalyze the industrialization of GaN, particularly in high-power applications such as automotive and data centers. According to TrendForce’s estimates, the global GaN power component market is projected to grow from $180 million in 2022 to $1.33 billion by 2026, with a remarkable compound annual growth rate of 65%. With proactive efforts from industry leaders like Infineon and GaN Systems, power applications are poised to become the primary growth engine in the GaN domain, accelerating the overall expansion of the GaN market size.