LONDON Ė DRAM maker Micron Technology Inc. and semiconductor manufacturing equipment companies Applied Materials Inc. and Ultratech Inc. have joined a research project on gallium nitride-on-silicon, being organized by Belgian research institute IMEC.
The R&D program focuses on the development of GaN-on-Si manufacturing processes and equipment technologies for manufacturing LEDs for solid-state lighting devices and power electronics components on silicon wafers with a 200-mm diameter, IMEC said.
Gallium nitride is a promising material for optoelectronics and advanced power electronic components, offering higher breakdown voltage and current-carrying capacity than silicon. By depositing GaN on 200-mm wafers the productivity of GaN-based device manufacturing can be significantly increased.
IMEC's program is set to make use of an Applied Materials tool to develop a GaN-on-Si process that is compatible with conventional CMOS fab infrastructure.
The program includes un-named foundries as well as compound semiconductor companies and substrate suppliers. Now Micron Technology (Boise, Idaho), Applied Materials (Santa Clara, Calif.), and Ultratech (San Jose, Calif.) have agreed to participate actively in the Industrial Affiliation Program at IMEC's facilities in Leuven, Belgium.
"We are excited to welcome three major companies to our GaN-on-Si IIAP. Less than a year after the program's launch in July 2009, we have assembled a strong consortium, including IDMs and equipment suppliers, and we expect more companies to join in the near future," said Rudi Cartuyvels, vice president and general manager of process technology at IMEC, in a statement.
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