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IQE

10 May 2016

Exagan partners with HIREX to establish GaN-on-Si's reliability for power converters

Gallium nitride (GaN) technology start-up Exagan of Grenoble, France has begun a strategic partnership to develop and commercialize GaN-on-silicon products with HIREX Engineering, a company of Alter Technology Group (TÜV Nord Group's Aerospace and Electronics business unit). TÜV NORD is a multi-national technical services provider to aerospace, industrial, mobile communications and IT markets

Based in Grenoble, France (with a branch office in Toulouse), Exagan was spun off in 2014 from Soitec and micro- and nanotechnology research center CEA-Leti (with financial support from each), and licenses materials and technology from both organizations. Exagan aims to accelerate the power-electronics industry's transition from silicon-based technology to GaN-on-Si technology, enabling smaller and more efficient electrical converters. Its GaN power switches are designed for full compatibility with manufacturing in standard 200mm-wafer silicon foundries to deliver high-performance, high-reliability products through a robust supply chain.

The goal of the partnership with HIREX is to establish the reliability of GaN-on-Si while also demonstrating to users the performance improvements to be gained and the low risk of integrating the energy-efficient technology in their own products.

Located near Toulouse, France, HIREX conducts reliability testing and qualification of ICs and discrete semiconductors for aerospace and industrial high-reliability applications. Together, the firms will test and qualify Exagan's G-FET products, which are fabricated using standard 200mm silicon processing and proprietary G-Stack technology. G-FETs can be used in making smaller, more efficient power converters that have a broad range of applications in high-growth markets including plug-in hybrid and full-electric vehicles (HEV/EV), solar energy and industrial applications as well as efficient charging of all mobile electronic devices.

"This dynamic partnership will help to propel GaN market development by pioneering test methodologies and measurement processes that make it easier for makers of electrical converters to implement GaN in improving their products," says Exagan's president & CEO Frédéric Dupont. "This timing is perfect to combine Exagan's strengths with those of the top European specialist in high-reliability testing. GaN technology has matured to deliver the high performance of SiC (silicon carbide) devices at silicon IC price and quality levels, and our key markets are ready for this next-generation solution," he adds. 

"Through its participation, HIREX Engineering will expand its expertise and business portfolio to include advanced power GaN technology and the end products it enables," says Alter Technology Group's CEO Luis Gomez. "We hope to establish robust and easy-to-reference product parameters for GaN that will allow fast integration in electrical converters," he adds.

"We are confident that GaN's bulletproof reliability will present remarkable advantages in the fast-growing power electronics market," comments TÜV Nord Group's CEO Dr Guido Rettig.

Tags: GaN-on-Si GaN switching device on silicon

Visit: www.altertechnology.com/atn/en/hirex-engineering/about-hirex-438.htm

Visit: www.exagan.com/en/technology/g-stack-material

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