Energy Efficiency

U.K.’s IQE Gets $4 million to Supply GaN Epi Wafers to U.S. Consortium

IQE plc has been selected to supply 150mm GaN-on-Si substrates to North Carolina State University’s Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute, which earlier this week was awarded a 5-year $70 million contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) to lead next generation power electronics manufacturing. Other industry partners include ABB, APEI, Avogy, Cree, Delphi, Delta Products, DfR Solutions, Gridbridge, Hesse Mechantronics, II-VI, John Deere, Monolith Semiconductor, RF Micro Devices, Toshiba International, Transphorm, USCi, and Vacon.

IQE has been selected by the consortium to supply the epitaxial (epi) wafers for the development of a 150mm GaN-on-Si power electronics capability for high voltage (600V to 1200V) applications, an award which is worth up to $4M over the next five years. GaN-on-Silicon is a key materials technology not only for highly-efficient power semiconductors with applications ranging from everyday power supplies for consumer electronics to industrial motor controls and hybrid-electric vehicles, but also for RF applications in next generation base station and small cell RF communication networks, as well as highly cost efficient LEDs, high speed rail and other power efficient applications.

Commenting on the announcement, IQE CEO and President, Dr. Drew Nelson said: “This announcement is a great endorsement of IQE’s recognition as a global leader in advanced semiconductor products and highlights the importance of materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) as a key enabling technology for the future. IQE has built a diversified portfolio of advanced compound semiconductor products which are now beginning to impact many aspects of today’s and tomorrow’s advanced technologies targeting wireless communications, opto electronics, InfraRed and Xray detection, clean energy generation (CPV), power efficient devices and next generation CMOS. Compound semiconductors offer limitless access and solutions to next generation societal challenges, and IQE is positioned as the global leader in the commercialisation of these new technologies.”

Gallium nitride has been a key materials technology initiative for IQE over the last few years, building on the acquisition of NanoGaN in 2010, Kopin Wireless in 2013, and the successful development and deployment of GaN on SiC technology for high power RF applications, culminating in the launch of the world’s first 150mm GaN-on-SiC wafer products in 2013.

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