Global FinFET-01

Fin Field-Effect Transistor (FinFET) – The Next-Generation 3D Transistor

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Over the years, technological advancements in semiconductors have resulted in reduced cost, enhanced performance, and greater reliability. These advancements have increased their applicability across a wide range of industries such as automotive, manufacturing, and consumer electronics. Limitations in the reliability of conventional bipolar transistors fueled the production and adoption of metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET). However, the existence of the short channel effect in MOSFETs is limiting their use in modern compact devices. This has propelled the need for more efficient transistors especially with reduced channel lengths and has led to the invention for next-generation 3D transistors – FinFET.

FinFET Technology

The working principle behind fin field-effect transistors (FinFETs) is the same as that of MOSFETs. A FinFET, unlike MOSFET is a 3D transistor, consisting of a conducting channel above the insulator level, forming a fin-shaped silicon structure, thus the name FinFET. This technology has effectively helped overcome the short channel effects, reduced current leakage, and has increased the electrical control over the channel.

Market Estimation

Since 2010, the technology is being widely adopted across several industries. The enhanced performance of FinFETs and the growing demand for handheld devices has contributed significantly to the surge in adoption of FinFETs, thus contributing to the growth of the FinFET technology market. As per the recent market intelligence report published by BIS Research titled “Global FinFET Technology Market – Analysis and Forecast (2018 – 2023),” the global FinFET technology market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 16.10% during the forecast period, 2018 – 2023 and reach $42.39 billion by 2023.

Technology Node and Products Dominating the Market

In terms of technology nodes, the FinFET market includes 22nm, 16nm, 14nm, 10nm, and 7nm. Amongst these, the 14nm technology node is being adopted by leading industry players such as Samsung, Intel, TSMC, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES and is projected to acquire the highest market share by 2023. The 7nm segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Moreover, there have been continuous efforts to develop advanced technology nodes such as 5nm and beyond.

Further, as per the report by BIS Research, the FinFET market constitutes different categories of products. These include system-on-chip (SoC), central processing unit (CPU), field-programmable gate array (FPGA), micro control unit (MCU), graphics processing unit (GPA), and network processors. The SoC segment is expected to witness high growth during the forecast period, owing to its increasing demand from varied products such as smartphones, video decoders, media devices, and digital signal processors.

Growth of the Market Across Different End-users and Regions

Owing to its advantages, the FinFET technology is being widely adopted across several end-user industries namely, smartphones, tablets and computers, automotive, wearables, and high-end networks. The introduction of 5G network services, increasing use of augmented and virtual reality devices, and consequently the need for faster and reliable processors are the key factors contributing to the demand for FinFETs.

The electronics and semiconductor industry across the globe are investing in FinFET technology. However, the region of North America is expected to dominate the market by generating the highest revenue, followed by the APAC region during the forecast period.

Substantial investments and developments from prominent companies such as Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd., Qualcomm Incorporated, SMIC, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited are further leveraging the growth of the market.