9 July 2020
GaN-on-Si firm ALLOS sells high-power electronics and RF business to AZUR
Azur Space Solar Power GmbH of Heilbronn, Germany has acquired the electronics business of IP licensing & technology engineering firm ALLOS Semiconductors GmbH of Dresden, Germany. AZUR SPACE will use the acquired technology to expand its III-V epitaxy business into the booming market for gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) high-power electronics and RF epiwafers. ALLOS will continue its optoelectronics business, focusing on the emerging micro-LED display market.
Azur Space’s entry into supplying III-V-epiwafers to the high-power electronics (HPE) market follows several years of working in stealth mode through preparation and investment. Beyond the supply of GaN-on-Si epiwafers, the firm is also engaged in gallium arsenide (GaAs) for the HPE market. “We are the leading provider of high-efficiency multi-junction space solar cells based on III-V epitaxy, with a capacity of 500,000 wafers/year and with multiple MOCVD reactors running 24/7,” says Azur’s CEO Juergen Heizmann. “Our skills and know-how are a perfect match to the requirements of the quickly emerging III-V HPE epiwafer market,” he reckons.
Through investment of over €10m and leveraging its III-V manufacturing expertise and facilities, Azur aims to grow HPE into a second business line. A driving force behind its decision to enter the HPE epiwafer market is the strongly growth in demand for energy-efficient power systems in electric or hybrid vehicles (EV/HEVs), all kinds of charging solutions, renewable energy, server farms, electric motors and many other HPE applications. “With ever increasing electrification and novel applications, the HPE market continues to grow – and the climate challenge is increasing the need for energy efficiency,” says Heizmann “With the two inherently high-efficient III-V technologies GaAs and GaN-on-Si, Azur is addressing the huge demand to contribute to the energy revolution, replacing less efficient technologies.”
Since its formation, ALLOS developed its GaN-on-Si epi technology for both high-power electronics and micro-LED applications. “We attained leading positions in two very attractive markets. However, customers’ required technologies and business models are different in both markets,” notes ALLOS’ co-founder & CEO Burkhard Slischka. “Due to its skills and resources, Azur Space is the right company to bring the technology into mass production and to serve a global customer base,” he adds. “Thanks to the booming demand for GaN-on-Si HPE epiwafers, the timing is right as well and, through the deal, we will participate in the long-term market success.”
With the transaction, ALLOS has ceased to service the high-power electronics and RF markets but retains the technology and rights for the optoelectronics market. In the latter, ALLOS sees its 200mm and 300mm epiwafer technology as being crucial in meeting the uniformity, crystal quality and manufacturability requirements for novel micro-LED display applications. “We can now fully focus on the rapidly evolving micro-LED market, where our technology provides huge yield and cost advantages throughout the entire value chain and where we have direct access to the companies driving the development,” says Slischka.
Azur and ALLOS will complete the transfer of the HPE and RF business and technology by the end of September. In advance of the start of manufacturing, Azur is already open to customer enquiries.