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11 February 2019

‘GaN Con - Power GaN’ tech day organized by Yole, EPC and SEMI

Eight years have passed since the first commercialized power GaN device. People in the power electronics industry are becoming increasingly familiar with the names of start-ups that are actively promoting gallium nitride technology. In addition to the power electronics leaders Infineon Technologies and ON Semiconductor, Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC), GaN Systems, Transphorm and Navitas are also involved in the development of GaN technology. Moreover, unsurprisingly, the list of GaN start-up players has been growing over the years, with Exagan, GaNPower International and Tagore Technology also offering power GaN products.

In the context of this dynamic ecosystem, market analyst firm Yole Développement and its partners EPC and trade organization SEMI are organizing ‘TechDay: GaN Con - Power GaN: from promises to possible market explosion’ on 21 February in Milpitas, CA, USA, a combination of conference presentations by leading power GaN companies, debates and networking.

Most power GaN start-ups choose the foundry model, mostly using TSMC, Episil or X-Fab as their preferred partner. Meanwhile, other foundries may offer this service if the market takes off. The foundry model affords fabless or fab-lite start-ups the possibility of ramping up quickly if the market suddenly takes off, while existing integrated device manufacturers (IDM) can benefit from previous acquired equipment and knowledge for GaN manufacturing.

“It is fascinating to see that, along with these start-up players, companies with very different profiles are competing in the same playground: industrial giants like Infineon Technologies, ON Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Panasonic and Texas Instruments,” comments Yole technology & market analyst Ana Villamor Ph.D.

The report ‘Power GaN: Epitaxy, Devices, Applications, and Technology Trends’ by Yole’s Power & Wireless team highlighted several new factors in 2018. Power electronics leader Infineon Technologies announced it would begin volume production of CoolGaN 400V and 600V enhancement-mode (E-mode) high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) products at the end of 2018. “This announcement is a strong sign for the power GaN industry,” says Yole technology & market analyst Ezgi Dogmus Ph.D. “Because of its leadership, Infineon Technologies has already many customers for silicon products that could shift to GaN solutions in the near future, if their requirements are satisfied.” GaN adoption by the biggest player gives confidence for future market growth.

In parallel, STMicroelectronics and CEA-Leti announced their cooperation in developing gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) technologies for both diodes and transistors on Leti’s 200mm R&D line. Both partners expect to have validated engineering samples in 2019. Also, STMicroelectronics will create a fully qualified manufacturing line, including GaN-on-Si hetero-epitaxy, for initial production running in its front-end wafer fab in Tours, France, by 2020.

Promisingly, new commercial products arrived during the last year, and more will come in 2019. The main ones released were power supply products for high-end or high-volume consumer applications. At the moment, each segment is being targeted by companies with different profiles: integrated solutions for consumer applications and discrete solutions for high-power/high-end power supplies, notes Yole, which elaborates further in its ‘Power GaN’ report.

Tags:  GaN power devices

Visit:  www.i-micronews.com/events/yole-events/eventdetail/484/

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