InP market is driven by the photonic sector with fiber optical applications for telecom & datacom

Extracted from: InP Wafer and Epiwafer Market - Photonic and RF Applications report, Yole Développement, 2019

Webcast: Sponsored by IQE, GaAs Wafer and Epiwafer Market: RF, Photonics, LED, and PV Applications webcast takes place on January 30 at 5.00 PM CET – 8.00 AM PDF - Register!


  • Datacom is driving the InP wafer market.
  • The InP industry features lots of players at device level, and a high concentration at epiwafer and wafer level.
  • If challenged by silicon photonics, what would the future look like for InP-based photonic IC?

LYON, France – January 28, 2019: The InP wafer market is today dominated by the high-speed fiber optic communication market, as InP is capable of emission and detection in wavelengths above 1000 nm. The InP wafer market is so largely impacted by the photonics market, especially driven by datacom and telecom applications: each market segment is using InP as a substrate for both laser diodes and photo diodes in optical transceivers. Driven by the 5G arrival and the impressive growth of datacom business, the InP wafer and epiwafer are showing a strong attractiveness. Yole Développement (Yole) announces a US$172 million market by 2024, with a 14% CAGR between 2018 and 2024.

The market research and strategy consulting company Yole proposes this month a new compound semiconductor report dedicated to the InP wafer and epiwafer industry. Titled InP Wafer and Epiwafer Market - Photonic and RF Applications, this report provides a deep understanding of this industry with a comprehensive description of the applicative market segments, photonics and RF electronics. Yole’s analysts reveal the status of InP wafer growth and epi growth technology and analyze the powerful ecosystem with market dynamics, key players by market sizes and forecasts. Business development is not only limited to the photonic markets. Yole’s Power & Wireless team also investigated other markets including LiDARs and handset PA.
Yole offers you today a clear picture of the InP potential and business opportunities.

As an old but still gold-standard member of the compound semiconductor family, InP possesses the key advantages of emission and detection capabilities over 1000 nm in the photonics domain, as well as high speed and low noise performance in high-frequency RF applications.
“Though it is often overshadowed by rivals like GaAs and SiGe for mass-volume, cost-driven RF applications, InP remains a top choice for performance-driven niche markets like military communication, radar, and radiometry, as well as automatic test equipment,” asserts Ezgi Dogmus, PhD, Technology & Market Analyst, Power & Wireless team at Yole. And she adds: “Moreover, different industrial actors including Skyworks, GCS, and IntelliEPI are monitoring InP technology for the upcoming 5G move.”
Currently, the real boost for the InP wafer market is expected in photonic applications. In optical communication, InP offers high performance in many functions including emission, photo detection, modulation, and mixing, but it is often challenged by other semiconductor platforms because of its high cost. Nevertheless, InP is an indispensable building block for laser diodes in transceivers used for telecom and datacom applications. Specific to the cyclic telecom market, which has recently slowed down, massive investment plans from different operators (i.e. China Telecom) are expected with the imminent 5G network.
“In fact, the InP wafer market for telecom is projected to reach around US$53 million by 2024,” comments Hong Lin, PhD., Senior Technology & Market Analyst at Yole. Also, significant investment in the datacom market is expected from different players, led by internet giants Google, Amazon, Alibaba, and more.
With the requirement of more data transfer at higher speeds, transceiver technology is migrating to technology offering better rates (100GbE and 400GbE), for which InP is more favorable. The wafer market for datacom is expected to explode, with an impressive 14% CAGR between 2018 and 2024. Last but not least, exciting LiDAR applications could be promising for InP, i.e. enabling eye safety at higher wavelength, which is currently in an early R&D phase.

Yole is deeply involved in the compound semiconductor sector for a while. With a dedicated Power & Wireless team and its collaboration with System Plus Consulting, part of Yole Group of Companies, the company investigates each material and devices and proposes step by step a significant collection of compound semiconductor reports. SiC , GaN , GaAs and today InP, analysts expand their expertise and reveal their vision of the industry and technology evolution through reports, presentations all year long during key conferences and trade shows and webcasts.
As an example, this week, Yole is organizing an online event dedicated to the GaAs industry. Sponsored by IQE, GaAs Wafer and Epiwafer Market: RF, Photonics, LED, and PV Applications webcast takes place on January 30 at 5.00 PM CET – 8.00 AM PDF. Ezgi Dogmus from Yole and Dr. Drew Nelson President & CEO of IQE, will present the status of this industry and point out the technology challenges. Register today!

The full collection of compound semiconductor reports including the one focused on InP is available on, compound semiconductor reports section.

InP: Indium Phosphide
CAGR : Compound Annual Growth Rate
PA : Power Amplifier
SiC : Silicon Carbide
GaN : Gallium Nitride

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