LONDON – Semiconductor manufacturing materials vendors Soitec SA and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. have announced that they have demonstrated four- and six-inch diameter engineered gallium nitride (GaN) wafer substrates and the launch of pilot production to enable wider market adoption.
The two companies began a joint development on GaN in December 2010.
The substrates are produced by transferring ultra-thin high quality GaN layers from a single GaN wafer to produce multiple engineered GaN substrates. These substrates are suitable for the manufacture of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and power transistors.
Having demonstrated the scaling of the technology the companies are now investing in pilot production lines in Itami, Japan, and Bernin, France. The pilot lines will initially fabricate four-inch wafers.
Under the partnership Sumitomo Electric will manufacture bulk GaN substrates in Japan for shipment to France, where Soitec will apply its "smart-cut" layer-transfer process to generate the engineered wafers. The resulting wafers have low defect density, enabling the manufacturing of advanced semiconductor devices at lower costs than bulk GaN wafers.