UK government support development of domestic 200mm GaN foundry process
UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) supports the Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd (CSC) and Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) to develop 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 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. The project is supported by UKRI under the ‘Automotive Transformation Fund: moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions’. "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," says Sam Evans, NWFs Director of External affairs, in a press release. "The GaN Power market is estimated to be USD$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 role out custom foundry offerings that address additional market segments including mobile/laptop fast chargers and energy storage inverters," adds Rob Harper, GaN programme manager at CSC.