Back in April 2018 McKinsey estimated a $70 billion market for graphene semiconductors in 2030. Note: Graphene based electronics they estimate at $190b.
“Graphene is, among other applications, being regarded as a potential replacement material for silicon, which has begun to show its age in face of extremely rapid technological progress, states a recent article written at McKinsey & Company (about the potential for a graphene semiconductors market.)
Silicon, the primary material used in the semiconductor industry, has historically kept pace with Moore’s law by providing previously unimaginable progress. However, performance improvements are raising the cost of silicon technology, as are slowing performance improvements, while miniaturisation is reaching the limits of this material.
As silicon appears to be reaching the final plateau on its s-curve, the industry is experimenting with several potential replacement materials, of which graphene is regarded as the most promising one.
There are three leading indicators that silicon technology is reaching its developmental end. First, the performance advances of computers have slowed down considerably.
Starting in the 1970s up to the 1990s, computer performance advanced exponentially, according to the McKinsey report. Beyond 1990s and until 2005, computer power was advancing by the leaps. After that time, however, a very noticeable slowdown in progress is more than evident.
Similarly, smartphone processor performance advanced rapidly until the year 2013, after which we are witnessing a plateau.
Such slowdown affects companies that built their competitive advantages on continued innovation, which are now seeing their lead eroding. As competitors begin to enter the market, prices necessarily fall, which puts financial pressure on market leaders. Such leaders will now be forced to innovate, looking into ways to keep improving device performance.”
The report identifies two technical and two industrial limitations for the adoption of graphene.
The first and most obvious limitation is the absence of a band gap in graphene, which results in the inability to switch transistors off….
“The second technical limitation is high-quality production on a large scale. The graphene community is aware of both of these limitations and has been working hard to address them, resulting in for example 6” graphene wafers.
On the industrial side, one issue is that semiconductor companies have already tied their large investment plans to improving existing fabs, so it will take courage to invest in graphene-based fab.
The second industrial issue is that the entire integrated value chain needs to be reworked to include graphene, whereas silicon value chains are well established.”…
Graphene semiconductors…Read full McKinsey article Graphene: The next S-curve for semiconductors?
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