STMicro and Leti develop GaN-on-Silicon technology for power conversion applications

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Semiconductor company, STMicroelectronics, and Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech, have announced that they are working together to industrialise GaN (Gallium Nitride)-on-Silicon technologies for power switching devices.

This power GaN-on-Si technology will enable ST to address high-efficiency, high-power applications, including automotive on-board chargers for hybrid and electric vehicles, wireless charging, and servers.

According to ST the collaboration will focus on developing and qualifying advanced power GaN-on-Silicon diode and transistor architectures on 200mm wafers, a market that the research firm IHS Markit estimates will grow at a CAGR of more than 20 percent from 2019 to 2024.

Together, in the framework of IRT Nanoelec, ST and Leti are developing the process technology on Leti’s 200mm R&D line and expect to have validated engineering samples available next year. In parallel, ST will set up a fully qualified manufacturing line, including GaN/Si hetero-epitaxy, for initial production running in ST’s front-end wafer fab in Tours, France, by 2020.

Given the attractiveness of GaN-on-Si technology for power applications, Leti and ST are also assessing advanced techniques to improve device packaging for the assembly of high power-density power modules.

“Recognising the incredible value of wide-bandgap semiconductors, ST’s contributions in Power GaN-on-Si manufacturing and packaging technologies with CEA-Leti move to arm us with the industry’s most complete portfolio of GaN and SiC products and capabilities,” said Marco Monti, President Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics.

Commenting Leti CEO, Emmanuel Sabonnadiere, said, “Leveraging Leti’s 200mm generic platform, Leti’s team is fully committed to supporting ST’s strategic GaN-on-Si power-electronics roadmap and is ready to transfer the technology onto ST’s dedicated GaN-on-Si manufacturing line in Tours. This co-development, involving teams from both sides, leverages the IRT Nanoelec framework program to broaden the required expertise and innovate from the start at device and system levels.