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Velox teams up with ST for GaN Schottky diodes

Velox Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics have joined forces to develop, launch and market high-voltage GaN Schottky diodes.

US-based GaN transistor manufacturer Velox Semiconductor and European semiconductor giant STMicroelectronics (ST) have decided to jointly launch high-voltage GaN Schottky diode products. The partnership is also aiming to establish both companies as dual-source suppliers of the devices.

The two companies claim that these diodes can deliver benefits in terms of cost, efficiency and size in switch mode power supplies used in computers, consumer applications, and industrial products that currently employ silicon electronics.

Velox is now in the final stages of development of its 600V GaN Schottky diodes, and will soon start production. ST will help to complete this development, and then qualify, market and distribute the diodes.

Initially ST will test and qualify all the devices, and market and distribute the Schottky diodes under the Velox brand name. Eventually Velox and ST expect to be dual sources for all products.

Velox is currently licensing its technology to ST to enable second-source manufacturing, and the two companies say that they are working together to synchronize production.

Although these efforts could delay the start of manufacture by Velox, it will also lead to an agile and consistent supply of GaN devices, according to the partnership.

"The deal with Velox enables ST to introduce a new and fast growing product line, quickly, and with the minimum of R&D and capital investment," remarked Ricardo de Sa Earp, general manger of ST's application specific discretes division.

ST has previously developed SiC Schottky diodes for the same applications as their GaN counterparts, which share many of their attributes (see related story).

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