The research collaboration explores innovative solutions for GaN-on-silicon wafer fabrication process
Singapore – IGSS GaN Pte Ltd (IGaN) is tapping on researchers from Nanyang Technological University Singapore’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (NTU EEE) to co-develop the gallium nitride on silicon device (GaN-on-Si) processing on 200mm wafers. This joint collaboration started in 2014 when IGaN was awarded the exclusive rights to commercialise the IPs related to GaN epitaxial growth of AlN/AlGaN/GaN layers and device processing from the research institutes in Singapore.
GaN is a so-called III/V direct bandgap semiconductor. It is very hard, mechanically stable and has a wide bandgap, together with high heat capacity and thermal conductivity. GaN-on-Si based devices offer a breakthrough in performance over existing silicon technology: lower on-resistance, higher efficiency, and lower dissipation. They also deliver lower capacitance, higher switching frequencies, and more efficient power conversion. The devices have substantially lower switching figures (Rdson x Qgd) and reverse recovery charge (Qrr), enabling high switching frequencies.
To improve industry-wide adoption of GaN-on-Si, the cost of manufacturing must be competitive. Therefore, a CMOS-compatible device process that leverages the economics of scale and compatibility with high throughput and high capacity 200mm Si based wafer process technology offers significant opportunity for cost-efficient volume production.
“The research carried out with NTU EEE in the gallium nitride on silicon process fabrication is important to enable GaN-on-silicon’s cost breakthrough that reduces the cost per wafer for power applications and allows processing in existing silicon wafer fabs and scaling up to 8-inch diameter wafers. This will allow fabless power and RF companies to design their devices and use our proprietary fab process by end 2018. In the short term, we are working towards enabling fabless power semiconductor companies produce 100-650 V switches based on our GaN-on-Si process technology,” said Raj Kumar, CEO of IGaN.
NTU EEE Professor Ng Geok Ing, Director of NTU EEE’s Silicon Technologies, Centre of Excellence (Si-COE), said that this partnership shows its strong commitment to the local industry to augment its research and development capabilities.
On the recent announcement of the research activities, Prof Ng said, “Collaboration is an important aspect of NTU’s endeavours to expand opportunities and deepen competitiveness in research. Our research collaboration will provide new knowledge about how to process GaN device designs effectively into 200mm commercial foundry.”
Professor Yoon Soon Fatt, Chair of NTU EEE, added, “The School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is the largest engineering school in NTU. We are a research-intensive School and collaborate extensively with industry leaders. This new partnership will see exciting new silicon technologies being developed which will directly benefit our students’ learning, to be in the heart of innovation right at the doorstep of our school, and we also look forward that our research developments will positively impact the silicon industry’s needs.”
IGaN envisions their customers to release a portfolio of GaN discrete devices to take advantage of markets ready for the GaN. The products will be targeted at applications where energy conversion efficiency is key, such as PFC power supplies, solar energy, motor control and automotive.
IGaN will enable suppliers to position themselves in the growing GaN-on-Si device market to leverage on their IPs and know-how in GaN.
The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is an autonomous research university in Singapore with extensive investment and development focus in SiP. NTU is consistently ranked amongst the world’s best universities in all the major college and university rankings and is regarded as one of the top universities in the world. In the 2018 QS World University Rankings, NTU is ranked 11th in the world and 1st in Asia.
About IGSS GaN Pte Ltd
IGSS GaN (IGaN) provides a one-stop solution for gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) wafer fabrication for both power and radio frequency (RF) devices. We manufacture GaN-on-Si epitaxial wafers and offer proprietary wafer fabrication services on CMOS compatible fab.