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ON Semiconductor jumps on imec’s GaN-on-Si program

The gallium arsenide on silicon program, targeted towards power devices, is aimed at reducing costs
ON Semiconductor, known for its silicon products for energy efficient electronics, has joined the multi-partner, industrial research and development program at imec.

The program is aimed at developing next-generation GaN-on-Silicon power devices.

With excellent mobility, a higher breakdown voltage and good thermal conductivity properties, GaN is ideal for power and radio frequency devices which need high-switching efficiencies.

Today, GaN-based power devices are too expensive for large volume manufacturing, as they are fabricated on small diameter wafers using non-standard production processes.

Imec’s research program is focused on developing GaN-on-silicon technology on 200 mm wafers, as well as reducing the cost and improving the performance of GaN devices.

The project brings together integrated device manufacturers, foundries, compound semiconductor companies, equipment suppliers and substrate suppliers.

Imec’s power devices on 200mm CMOS-compatible GaN-on-Silicon

Last year, imec’s research program produced 200 mm GaN-on-Silicon wafers, bringing processing within reach for standard high-productivity 200 mm fabs.

What's more, the project resulted in developing a fabrication process compatible with standard CMOS processes and tools, the second prerequisite for cost-effective processing.

“As a top 20 global semiconductor supplier with a portfolio focused on energy efficient devices, ON Semiconductor has been researching GaN silicon technologies for several years and is presently building a GaN processing line in its Oudenaarde facility in Belgium,” says Hans Stork, senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at ON Semiconductor.

“Partnering with imec will help strengthen our current market position and potentially assist us in adding a competitive leading-edge technology to our customer offerings. We look forward to collaborating with a broad consortium of like-minded companies on forward-looking research in this field.”

Rudi Cartuyvels, vice president of smart systems and energy technology at imec says, “Extraordinary developments continue to emerge from our GaN-on-Si Affiliation Program, creating further inroads to drive down production costs The newest addition, of ON Semiconductor as a strategic program partner, further advances our collective expertise. Leveraging joint efforts will help us overcome the next hurdle toward economical volume manufacturing, ultimately bringing GaN power devices to the market.”

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