Silicon foundry X-Fab and GaN start-up Exagan have demonstrated mass-production capability to produce high-voltage power devices on 200mm GaN-on-silicon wafers using X-Fab’s CMOS production facility in Dresden, Germany.

The partners said they have resolved many of the challenges related to material stress, defectivity and process integration while using standard fabrication equipment and process recipes. Combined with the use of 200mm wafers, the technology will significantly lower the cost of mass producing GaN-on-silicon devices. By enabling greater power integration than silicon ICs, GaN devices can improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of electrical converters, which will accelerate their adoption in applications including electrical vehicle charging stations, servers, automobiles and industrial systems.

The new GaN-on-silicon devices have been built using substrates fabricated at Exagan’s 200mm epi-manufacturing facility in Grenoble, France. These epi wafers meet the physical and electrical specifications to produce Exagan’s 650V G-FET devices as well as the tight requirements for compatibility with CMOS manufacturing lines.

The industry’s previous work with GaN had been limited to 100mm and 150mm wafers due to the challenges of layering GaN films on silicon substrates. Exagan’s G-Stack technology enables GaN-on-silicon devices to be manufactured on 200mm substrates by depositing a unique stack of GaN and strain-management layers that relieves the stress between GaN and silicon layers. The resulting devices have been shown to exhibit high breakdown voltage, low vertical leakage and high-temperature operation.