Partnership to accelerate adoption of GaN-based products

STMicroelectronics Pty Ltd

Thursday, 27 February, 2020


Partnership to accelerate adoption of GaN-based products

Semiconductor companies STMicroelectronics and TSMC are collaborating to accelerate the development of gallium nitride (GaN) process technology and the supply of both discrete and integrated GaN devices to market. Through this collaboration, ST’s innovative and strategic GaN products will be manufactured using TSMC’s GaN process technology.

GaN is a wide-bandgap semiconductor material that offers significant benefits over traditional silicon-based semiconductors for power applications — such as greater energy efficiency at higher power, leading to a substantial reduction in parasitic power losses. GaN technology also enables the design of more compact devices for better form factors. Additionally, GaN-based devices switch at speeds up to 10 times faster than silicon-based devices while operating at higher peak temperatures. These robust and intrinsic material characteristics make GaN suitable for broad-based adoption in evolving automotive, industrial, telecom and specific consumer applications across both the 100 and 650 V clusters.

Specifically, power GaN and GaN IC technology-based products should enable ST to provide solutions for medium- and high-power applications with better efficiency compared to silicon technologies on the same topologies, including automotive converters and chargers for hybrid and electric vehicles. Power GaN and GaN IC technologies should thus help accelerate the megatrend of the electrification of consumer and commercial vehicles.

“As a leader in both wide-bandgap semiconductor technology and in power semiconductors for the demanding automotive and industrial markets, ST sees significant opportunity in accelerating the development and delivery of GaN process technology and bringing power GaN and GaN IC products to the market,” said Marco Monti, President of STMicroelectronics’ Automotive and Discrete Group. “TSMC is a trusted foundry partner that can uniquely meet the challenging reliability and roadmap evolution requirements of ST’s target customers.

“This cooperation complements our existing activities on power GaN undertaken at our site in Tours, France and with CEA-Leti. GaN represents the next major innovation in power and smart power electronics, as well in process technology.”

“We look forward to collaborating with ST and bring the applications of GaN power electronics to industrial and automotive power conversion,” added Dr Kevin Zhang, Vice President of Business Development at TSMC. “TSMC’s leading GaN manufacturing expertise, combined with STMicroelectronics’ product design and automotive-grade qualification capabilities, will deliver great energy efficiency improvement for industrial and automotive power conversion applications that are more eco-friendly and help accelerate the electrification of vehicles.”

ST expects the delivery of first samples of power GaN discrete devices to its key customers later this year, followed by GaN IC products within a few months.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/BillionPhotos.com

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