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.
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
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"