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Conference Report

Magazine Feature
This article was originally featured in the edition:
Volume 29 Issue 1

IEDM: GaN powers ahead

News

Researchers at the recent International Electron Devices Meeting unveiled record-breaking GaN devices featuring superior architectures.

BY RICHARD STEVENSON, EDITOR, CS MAGAZINE

Within our industry, the standing of GaN continues on its upward trajectory. This wide bandgap semiconductor is entrenched as the ultimate material for making blue, green and white LEDs, and is now strengthening its case for the transmission of RF signals and starting to enjoy a tremendous sales ramp in the power domain. In the later sector, revenue is tipped to soon break the $1 billion barrier, driven by advances in device performance that will ensure energy savings in various consumer and industrial applications.

Underpinning this surge in sales are efforts of researchers in academia and industry – this community is improving established devices and developing new ones. Some of their recent, major breakthroughs were detailed at the 68th IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), held from 3-7 December, 2022, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. At that gathering, engineers unveiled new records in power integration, success with high-voltage switches on sapphire substrates, the introduction of a hybrid gate that bolsters threshold-voltage stability, and a debut for the vertical GaN superjunction device.