Soitec And SEI Collaborate On GaN Substrate Development
Applications for the engineered substrates include high brightness LEDs and electric power devices designed for hybrid and full electric vehicles.
Soitec, a leading supplier of engineered substrates and Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) a worldwide provider of compound semiconductor materials, are working together to develop engineered gallium nitride (GaN) substrates.
The alliance will draw on Sumitomo Electric's sophisticated GaN wafer manufacturing technology and Soitec's unique Smart Cut layer transfer technology by which ultra-thin GaN layers are transferred from a single GaN wafer to produce multiple, engineered GaN substrates.
The engineered substrates retain the original, high crystalline quality of Sumitomo Electric's GaN wafer at a lower cost. This technology will therefore facilitate widespread use of GaN substrates in applications like high brightness LEDs as well as electric power devices designed for hybrid and full electric vehicles.
"Our collaboration with Soitec will open the door to high quality, lower cost GaN substrates," said Masamichi Yokogawa, Sumitomo Electric's Executive Officer and General Manager of Compound Semiconductor Material Division. "We have demonstrated that the transfer of a thin layer of our high quality GaN crystal to a carrier wafer is the right approach to make our GaN material accessible for various applications such as power devices and white LEDs. We are expecting the collaboration with Soitec will enable wider use of our high-quality GaN wafer. We believe device manufacturers focused on low unit area costs will find value in the greater functionality of these engineered substrates."
"We are delighted to work with Sumitomo Electric and excited about what we have been able to achieve together so far. We are partnering with the leader in GaN wafer manufacturing to offer engineered substrates that have the best crystal quality available today. This collaboration represents the first step of an important move in our strategy to address the need for dramatically improved efficiency in power conversion and lighting with innovative materials engineering solutions," said Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, CEO of Soitec.
The Soitec Group is an innovator and provider of the engineered substrate solutions that serve as the foundation for advanced microelectronic products. The group leverages its proprietary Smart Cut technology to engineer new substrate solutions, such as silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, which became the first high-volume application for this proprietary technology.
Since then, SOI has emerged as the material platform of the future, enabling the production of higher performing, faster chips that consume less power. Soitec says it produces more than 80 % of the world's SOI wafers. Headquartered in Bernin, France, with two high-volume fabs on-site, Soitec has offices throughout the United States, Japan and Taiwan, and a new production site in Singapore.
Three other divisions, Picogiga International, Tracit Technologies and Concentrix Solar, complete the Soitec Group. Picogiga delivers advanced substrates solutions, including III-V epiwafers, to the compound material world for the manufacture of high-frequency electronics and other optoelectronic devices.
Tracit, on the other hand, provides thin-film layer transfer technologies used to manufacture advanced substrates for power ICs and Microsystems, as well as generic circuit transfer technology, Smart Stacking for applications such as image sensors and 3D-integration. In December 2009, Soitec acquired 80% of Concentrix Solar, a leading provider of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar systems for the industrial production of energy. With this acquisition, Soitec is entering the fast-growing solar industry; capturing value through the system level.
Soitec, Smart Cut, Smart Stacking and UNIBOND are trademarks of S.O.I.TEC Silicon On Insulator Technologies.
Sumitomo Electric Industries designs, manufactures and sells optical fibers/cables/components, advanced electronic devices, and automotive parts. Through successful strategies of research and diversification, Sumitomo Electric has become one of the world's leading companies at the forefront of the revolution in the electronics field.
Sumitomo Electric's world-class research and manufacturing capabilities in compound semiconductors continue to expand and strengthen the product portfolio while maintaining industry leading levels of reliability. The company has global operations in more than 30 countries and employs 170,000 people.