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Azzurro nears high-voltage wafer qualification

Epiwafer maker Azzurro sees high-voltage devices as the biggest market for GaN after LEDs.

German GaN epitaxy foundry Azzurro has its sights firmly set on the power device market, as it moves towards qualifying 150 mm GaN-on-silicon epiwafers for 2000 V devices.

“Power device numbers are orders of magnitude higher than the RF market,” believes Azzurro s CTO Armin Dadgar. “If you think of the amount of devices needed [for GaN-on-Si RF applications] you can probably cover the world market with only one 150 mm multi-wafer epi machine.”

“But switching-mode power supplies, power factor correctors, and surge control - these things are in so many electronic devices - we re talking about hundreds of millions of devices.”

Azzurro s capability to produce high-voltage GaN-on-silicon epiwafers comes from its expertise in growing thick GaN epilayers. Dadgar claims Azzurro was the first company to grow GaN layers thicker than three microns on silicon, and its 2000 V development is based on eight-micron-thick GaN.

“Of course these wafers are crack-free and through our curvature-control mechanism show a very low bow suitable for contact lithography or the use of steppers,” he adds.

The founders of the Magdeburg, Germany, based company were the first to grow thick, crack-free GaN layers on silicon in 2000. The extra thickness of the GaN epilayer improves not only the essential high-voltage breakdown capabilities but also crystal quality, particularly important for LEDs, as well as thermal conductivity.

Azzurro s revenues come exclusively from its sales of GaN-on-Si epiwafers, with the biggest part coming from large area LED templates and RF epiwafers, as the high-voltage wafers are only being qualified now.

To aid the development of the RF and high-voltage part of its business, Azzurro has just taken delivery of a non-destructive mobility measurement system from Lehighton "“ the first of its type in to be deployed in Europe.

“It s not only giving us sheet resistivity, but also real Hall effect measurements, carrier concentration and carrier mobility, which is a very important parameter for RF, so we decided to buy this tool instead of a simple resistivity mapper,” Dadgar said.

Alexander Lösing, Azzurro s CEO, will present the development of the company s 2000 V epiwafers on Tuesday September 18 at the 7th International Conference on Nitride Semiconductors, being held in Las Vegas.

The original version of this article stated incorrectly that Azzurro was also developing devices, which is not true. Azzurro only offers epitaxy services. If customers desire foundry or other services Azzurro has partner companies which offer those services.

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