LONDON – Transphorm Inc. (Goleta, Calif.), a startup specializing in gallium nitride power devices made on silicon wafers, has announced it has closed a Series E round of financing worth $35 million. The round was led by Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ) and Nihon Inter Electronics Co. (NIEC).
Transphorm is looking to establish manufacturing of high-voltage GaN-on-silicon power devices that will demonstrate better power efficiency than technologies and sell components into applications including power supplies, inverters for solar panels and electric vehicles.
INCJ is a public-private partnership between the Japanese government and 27 major corporations, including Sharp, Sumitomo Electric, Toshiba and General Electric Japan that has an investment capacity of about 2 trillion yen (about $25 billion). In addition to making a financial investment NIEC has entered into a business agreement with Transphorm allowing the company to act as a second source for Transphorm products.
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Existing investors in Transphorm also participated including: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital, Google Ventures, Quantum Strategic Partners, Lux Capital, and Bright Capital. The Series E investment brings the total amount invested in Transphorm since its formation in 2007 to $104 million.
"Through NIEC, our customers will benefit with broader distribution channels, as well as a reputable second source for some of our packaged products," said Primit Parikh, president of Transphorm, in a statement.
Transphorm is included in version 13.0 of the Silicon 60 list of emerging startups published by EE Times and entered the Silicon 60 at version 12.5 in April 2011.
Iniewski - these are Power GaN transistors, that is, not RF GaN devices (Eudyna/Fujitsu) - potentially a much bigger market with intense commercialization activities by compamies and countries worldwide.
There is a race to solve (to a degree) the intrinsic phenomena known as the "current collapse"
Thank you for the encouraging news. What type of products (devices and/or modules) are considered by this investment…..and in which timeframe?
Re Transphorm and 600V devices - are these transistors or diodes? Transistors may be MUCH more difficult to make.
Also are the 600V devices really GaN-on-Silicon or perhaps, as an intermittent step, SiC? Many thanks
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