A new report from NanoMarkets LC, a market research firm based here says that silicon nanocrystals and printed forms of silicon will transform electronics over the next decade with new memory, logic, photovoltaic and optoelectronic products enabled by this new technology reaching $2.5 billion in revenue by 2015.
The report states that this new silicon revolution will bring the semiconductor industry's huge experience with manufacturing silicon devices to bear on flexible and large electronics for the first time, challenging the role of organic materials. The revolution will also provide novel ways of scaling semiconductor products made from traditional materials that no longer do their job as devices follow Moore's Law beyond the 45 nm node.
Key points from the report include:
- Ink jet, transfer printing and other forms of printing silicon are expected to bring new levels of functionality and performance to printed RFID and display backplanes. This new technology presents a threat to firms developing organic transistors aimed at similar markets and may also be the first printed transistor technology to find widespread acceptance for backplane applications in the huge LCD display industry. Sales of printed silicon thin film transistor products are expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2015.
- The new silicon electronics and photonics will create important new opportunities to sell high margin nanocrystalline materials, precursors and inks. The value of this opportunity is estimate to reach $529 million by 2015.
- Computer memories made with nanocrystalline silicon floating gates will be half the size of conventional flash memories, use less power and cost less. Such devices are expected to find ready markets in the consumer and automotive electronics sectors. Silicon nanocrystals could also serve as the basis for a new generation of optical memories that could help speed up traffic in next generation optical networks. Revenues generated by silicon crystal enabled memories are expected to reach approximately $260 million by 2015.
- Solar panels created using nanocrystalline silicon - some of them printed with silicon inks -- are expected to offer efficiencies higher than any current commercial photovoltaic cells can offer. By 2015 solar panels created using this technology are expected to reach sales levels of around $245 million.