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IP deal to bring GaN-on-Si wafer to mainstream

Posted: 03 Apr 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:M/A-COM Technology Solutions  GaN-on-Si  IQE  gallium nitride  epitaxial wafer 

M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc. has revealed an IP licensing program for gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon technology to help push the company's vision of enabling the mainstream adoption of GaN as a large-scale RF semiconductor technology across the industry.

As a first step, MACOM has announced a license and epitaxial (epi) wafer supply agreement that will enable IQE, considered the world's largest supplier of compound semiconductor epi, to manufacture GaN-on-Silicon epi at 4, 6 and 8in diameters in high volume for RF applications. The move allows MACOM to deliver GaN RF products with breakthrough bandwidth and efficiency at mainstream 8in silicon cost structures.

MACOM is also in discussions to make GaN-on-Silicon technology available to select companies for use in RF applications. MACOM believes that establishing such large diameter wafer manufacturing sources will be a key factor in driving mainstream, commercial adoption of GaN technology. Surety of supply is of critical importance in power amplifier dependent markets such as cellular base stations.

We are nearing a watershed moment for the RF & Microwave industry, promising breakthrough performance for compound semiconductors and leveraging large-scale silicon production facilities that operate at orders of magnitude greater economies of scale, said John Croteau, president and CEO, MACOM. We believe our recent acquisition of Nitronex and its portfolio of fundamental IP rights related to GaN-on-Silicon materials, process, and device technology for RF applications provides us with the foundation for a licensing program that will help bring our vision of GaN performance at mainstream 8-inch silicon cost structures a reality.

IQE today supplies more than 50 per cent of the world's RF epitaxial wafers. IQE possesses the largest independent manufacturing capacity of compound semiconductor epi worldwide, and as a result, is able to achieve enhanced economies of scale, helping to build wafer capacity and cost structure needed to grow the GaN market.

We are beginning to see very significant traction for GaN occurring in the compound semiconductor industry, across a wide range of applications said Drew Nelson, president & CEO, IQE. Our agreement with MACOM allows us to further penetrate this new market by bringing decades of high volume production experience to create the necessary supply chain needed to accelerate GaN adoption. We look forward to a powerful ongoing relationship.

- Paul Buckley
  EE Times Europe





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