SAN FRANCISCO—Semiconductor manufacturing materials vendors Soitec SA and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. said Tuesday (Nov. 30) that they are working together to develop engineered gallium nitride (GaN) substrates.
The alliance between the two companies will draw on Sumitomo Electric's GaN wafer manufacturing technology and Soitec's Smart Cut layer transfer technology, by which ultra-thin GaN layers are transferred from a single GaN wafer to produce multiple, engineered GaN substrates, the companies said.
"Our collaboration with Soitec will open the door to high quality, lower cost GaN substrates," said Masamichi Yokogawa, Sumitomo Electric's executive officer and general manager of the company's Compound Semiconductor Material division.
According to Yokogawa, Sumitomo Electric has demonstrated that the transfer of a thin layer of high-quality GaN crystal to a carrier wafer is the right approach to make the company's GaN material accessible for various applications such as power devices and white LEDs.
"We are expecting the collaboration with Soitec will enable wider use of our high-quality GaN wafer.," Yokogawa said. "We believe device manufacturers focused on low unit area costs will find value in the greater functionality of these engineered substrates."
In other GaN news Tuesday, RF foundry and chip maker TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. said it has been awarded a $17.5 million GaN manufacturing development contract by the US Air Force Research Laboratory. The overall goal of the contract is to increase yield, lower costs and improve time-to-market cycles for defense and commercial GaN integrated circuits, TriQuint said. The work will be performed at TriQuint's facility in Richardson, Texas, the company said.