UKRI support for 200mm Gallium Nitride HEMT foundry process

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UKRI has announced support for the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) and Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) in developing a 200mm Gallium Nitride HEMT foundry process.

The project is a co-ordinated effort by CSC and NWF to deliver a foundry grade 650V GaN-on-Silicon HEMT process on a 200mm wafer platform.

The HEMT fabrication process technology will leverage 30 years of Silicon Power device manufacturing heritage at Newport Wafer Fab, developed under an automotive (IATF 16949) quality accredited volume manufacturing environment.

The epitaxial solution will look to leverage IP developed by CSC in partnership with its parent company IQE, on a high volume Aixtron G5 200mm manufacturing platform at its Cardiff, UK facility. CSC recently achieved full ISO9001 accreditation of its internal Quality Management System covering development through to volume scale up. The project is supported by UKRI under the ‘Automotive Transformation Fund: moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions’.

Commenting Sam Evans, NWFs Director of External affairs, said,”This is an exciting step towards NWFs vision of becoming a major manufacturer of Compound-on-Silicon products. We see the Wide Bandgap Power device market as an excellent area to address in our plans to expand our current manufacturing footprint of 8,000 wafer starts per week to 14,000, and it’s a natural opportunity for us to pursue given our heritage in high power Silicon MOSFET, IGBT and GaN device development manufacturing.”

Rob Harper, GaN programme manager at CSC added, “The GaN Power market is estimated to be worth over $700M by 2025 with massive future growth opportunity for EV adoption, and we are collaborating with a global power semiconductor blue-chip to help steer the process roadmap.

“We are initially targeting the EV segment of the market including traction inverters; as the project progresses we hope to roll out custom foundry offerings that address additional market segments including mobile/laptop fast chargers and energy storage inverters.”