ITRI and Oxford Instruments Achieve Breakthrough in Improving GaN HEMT Performance

Article By : Industrial Technology Research Institute

ITRI and Oxford Instruments have achieved GaN technology developments that will significantly improve device performance and reliability.

Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Oxford Instruments have unveiled exciting technology developments that will significantly benefit key hyper-growth electric vehicle, datacenter and 5G markets. The breakthrough allows critical transistor components to operate at higher voltages, which increases performance and reliability, while also achieving a safer and more energy efficient (normally off ‘E-mode’) operation compared to existing devices. The new gallium nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) device architecture—referred to as GaN MISHEMT—is defined by a recessed and insulated gate junction into the aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN) layer.

ITRI and Oxford Instruments announced a cooperative research program for next-gen compound semiconductors in September 2021. This latest breakthrough is an example of that collaboration, delivering on its goal of accelerating technology to benefit the partners, their regions, and wider global markets.

The ALD system of Oxford Instruments is a critical GaN solution that improves surface quality and reduces defect rates. (Photo credit: Oxford Instruments)

Prior to product commercialization, ITRI provides pilot production and value-added services, including manufacturing process verification, product development, and production of semi-finished products. ITRI’s integration services, especially this GaN development project, have proved incredibly beneficial, which quickly proved out the higher performance of GaN MISHEMT and provided a lower risk and faster route to market for the device.

“We have excellent strategic partners and customers like ITRI, and our GaN solutions are positioned strongly to serve, grow and gain from big opportunity markets. Our leading Atomic Layer Etch (ALE) and Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology is raising material engineering performance to achieve new levels of surface quality and defect reduction, to meet the growing demand for higher performing devices,” commented Klaas Wisniewski, Oxford Instruments Strategic Business Development Director. “With our technology partner ITRI, high volume GaN manufacturing customers and our focused investment into high value and proprietary process solutions, we expect the GaN device market to be a key driver for our business and technology roadmap.”

“The performance benefit of GaN MISHEMT was well established at ITRI. However, the fine profiles required in the device architecture were difficult to create repeatably with the etch equipment available at the time. We were pleased to leverage the high performance of Oxford Instruments’ ALE equipment and immediately saw the benefit for volume manufacturing of our devices,” said ITRI General Director of Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories Shih-Chieh Chang.

 

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