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Caracal helps Kyma fix GaN process bottleneck

Growing demand for non-polar material and the need to fix a processing bottleneck sees Kyma Technologies hook up with SiC specialist Caracal and the Penn State Electro-Optics Center.

Wide-bandgap materials specialist Kyma Technologies has enlisted help from the start-up company Caracal in response to growing demand for non-polar GaN.

Caracal, which is focused specifically on SiC semiconductors, and the Penn State Electro-Optics Center are said to have helped Kyma deal with a production bottleneck in back-end processing, and to effectively increase Kyma s manufacturing capacity.

Kyma CEO Keith Evans said, "Our relationship with Caracal began earlier this year and is already very valuable."

Evans added that Kyma had benefited from the experience of Caracal founder and CTO Olle Kordina.

Kordina set up Ford City, Pennsylvania, Caracal in 2004, although most of the details about the company were kept under wraps until the following year, when it raised $9 million in venture financing.

Caracal has also been through a battle over intellectual property with SiC giant Cree, which culminated in a cross-license agreement in April 2006. Under the terms of that agreement, Caracal has to pay Cree a royalty to use technologies detailed in certain Cree patents.

More recently, Caracal received a US patent for its invention of a gas-based deposition technique that Kordina believes will allow a ten-fold increase in the manufacture of SiC wafers (see related story).

US patent 7,247,513 details how hydrogen chloride gas acts as a dissociation-enhancer that not only improves the material growth rate, but also the morphology of the SiC film deposited.

• Tanya Paskova has joined Kyma as the company s new chief scientist. A Kyma collaborator since early 2006, Paskova specializes in GaN crystal growth and characterization, and was previously at Linköping University in Sweden.

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