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14 April 2015

EpiGaN demonstrating GaN-on-Si epiwafers at PCIM Europe

In booth 6-432 at PCIM Europe 2015 in Nuremberg, Germany (19-21 May), III-nitride epitaxial material supplier EpiGaN nv of Hasselt, near Antwerp, Belgium is demonstrating its product range of gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) epiwafers that meet industrial specifications for high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) devices at 650V.

Incorporated in 2010, EpiGaN was founded by chief executive officer Dr Marianne Germain, chief technology officer Dr Joff Derluyn and chief operating officer Dr Stefan Degroote as a spin-off of nanoelectronics research center Imec of Leuven, Belgium. The founders jointly developed gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology on 6" and 8" wafers at Imec, part of which has been licensed to EpiGaN. In mid-2012, EpiGaN closed its first capital round of €4m, to allow it to start volume production of GaN-on-Si epi material.

The growing demand for electronic systems that offer high speed, high temperature and high power-handling capabilities has led the semiconductor industry to rethink the choice of device materials, says EpiGaN. Due to its unique characteristics such as lower on-resistance, higher breakdown voltage, higher operating temperature and higher switching frequencies, gallium nitride has become the preferred candidate for future power conversion systems, the firm adds.

EpiGaN produces GaN-on-Si and GaN-on-SiC epiwafers for integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) to fabricate high-performance power switching systems (up to 600V) as well as RF power devices for millimeter-wave applications. EpiGaN has patented its GaN epiwafer technology to enable users to position themselves in new and rapidly growing market segments.

EpiGaN says that a competitive advantage of its GaN-on-Si (up to 200mm diameter) and GaN on SiC epiwafers – which are produced in metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactors – is that they are compatible with the existing standard Si-CMOS production infrastructure. IDMs can hence continue to utilize their investment in silicon processing lines. 

This advantage arises from in-situ silicon nitride (SiN) layering – a key concept of EpiGaN's epiwafer technology – which provides what is claimed to be superior surface passivation and device reliability, and enables contamination-free processing. In-situ SiN structuring allows the use of pure AlN layers as a barrier material, with the resulting heterostructures having a sheet resistance below 250 Ohm/sq.

EpiGaN says that GaN technology is beginning to be introduced to numerous high-power applications such as industrial, consumer and server power supplies, as well as solar, AC drive and UPS (uninterruptible power supply) inverters, and hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs). GaN is also suited to RF applications such as cellular base-stations, radars and cable TV infrastructure in the networking, aerospace and defense industries, since it offers high breakdown strength, low noise figures and high linearity.

"Even best-in-class silicon devices are approaching their theoretical limits," says co-founder & CEO Marianne Germain. "We supply industry-leading GaN-on-Si and GaN-on-SiC epiwafers to the semiconductor industry to build the next generation of power switching and RF power systems, offering better power handling, higher conversion efficiency and lower volume and weight."

See related items:

EpiGaN appoints chief marketing officer

Tags: EpiGaN GaN-on-Si

Visit: www.epigan.com

Visit: www.mesago.de/en/PCIM/main.htm

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