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Odyssey Semi adds Cornell Prof to Board


US GaN start-up appoints power electronics expert Khurram Afridi to advisory board

US start-up Odyssey Semiconductor Technologies, which is developing innovative high-voltage power switching components based on proprietary GaN processing technology, has announced the addition of Khurram Afridi to the company's board of advisors.

Afridi is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University where he conducts extensive research in power electronics and energy systems incorporating power electronic controls. Afridi's team of engineers at Cornell University has been studying many applications of GaN devices, including the concept of On-the-Go Charging for electric transportation.

"Professor Afridi is one of the country's top experts on power electronics," said Alex Behfar, chairman and CEO of Odyssey Semiconductor. "Customers of our GaN-based vertical-conduction devices are focused on enabling higher efficiency, lower weight, and smaller size power electronic systems. As a member of our advisory board, Professor Afridi will help our team focus on specific device configurations for customers in power system applications such as Electric Vehicles (EVs) and solar energy."

Afridi holds multiple degrees, including a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. He was previously the COO and CTO of Techlogix and has worked for JPL, Lutron, Philips, and Schlumberger. He is an associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics. He received numerous awards for his work, most recently the 2016 National Science Foundation CAREER Award from NSF.

In addition to Afridi, Odyssey reports a strong first half of the year. The company announced in April it had raised $5 million (1.25 million shares at $4.00 per share) in a common stock private placement to further fund the development and production of high-voltage vertically conducting GaN power-switching devices. Odyssey has developed new GaN processing technology to produce high-voltage power switching devices that will break down long-standing performance barriers for high-power and high-voltage applications such as EVs, solar energy, power grids, and industrial motors.

In 2020, Odyssey began trading on the OTCQB Venture Market under ticker ODII and is focused on the premium power switching device market. The premium power switching device market, which is described as applications where silicon-based systems perform insufficiently, is projected to reach over $3.5 billion by 2025.

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