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4 February 2015

Sumitomo Chemical buys Hitachi Metals' compound semiconductor materials business

Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd of Tokyo, Japan has agreed to acquire the compound semiconductor materials business of Tokyo-based Hitachi Cable Ltd, effective from 1 April. The business includes compound semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide (GaAs) epiwafers as well as gallium nitride (GaN) substrates and epiwafers (in which Hitachi Metals is considered to be a forerunner).

Sumitomo Chemical says that the acquisition will allow it to expand its GaN substrate and epiwafer business for use in electronic and optical components, for which the market is taking off, while at the same time devoting effort to early commercialization of the products for use in power devices. In addition, it is reckoned that the fusion of Hitachi Metals' resources and mass-production technology with Sumitomo Chemical's technical expertise will accelerate commercialization of firm's next generation of GaN epiwafers that are currently under development. 

Regarding GaAs epiwafers, which Sumitomo Chemical has already commercialized, the firm aims to further strengthen its business foundation by making the best use of each company's resources.

Compared with an elemental semiconductor such as silicon, compound semiconductors have excellent properties, such as higher electron mobility, higher-speed/higher-frequency operation, and higher light-receiving or light-emitting efficiency. Compound semiconductors are widely used in various fields of industry, including electronic components such as materials for smartphones and optical components like LEDs. Next-generation power devices, for which compound semiconductors can be used, are capable of improving power efficiency and will contribute to realizing energy-saving society. As such, demand for compound semiconductors for such use is expected to grow substantially w in the future.

Sumitomo Chemical says that it is positioning the compound semiconductor materials business for next-generation power devices as a promising area in its long-term business portfolio for the IT-related Chemicals Sector. The business acquisition is intended to further reinforce relevant operations of the firm. 

See related items:

Sumitomo Chemical investing $52m in compound semiconductor materials business

Tags: Sumitomo Chemical Hitachi Cable GaAs epitaxial wafers GaN substrates GaN epiwafers

Visit: www.hitachi-cable.com

Visit: www.sumitomo-chem.co.jp/english

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