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Micron, Applied Materials, Ultratech join IMEC on GaN-on-Si

Posted: 22 Jul 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:gallium nitride-on-silicon  wafers  IMEC  GaN-on-Si  R&D 

Micron Technology, Applied Materials, and Ultratech became members of IMEC's industrial affiliation programme (IIAP) on gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) research. A multi-partner R&D programme, the GaN-on-Si IIAP is developing process and equipment technologies for manufacturing solid state lighting (e.g. LEDs) and next-generation power electronics components on 8-inch Si wafers. Micron, Applied Materials, and Ultratech will actively participate in the IIAP at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium. This on-site participation enables the partner companies to have early access to next-generation LED and power electronics processes, equipment and technologies.

Gallium nitride offers higher breakdownVage and current capacity than silicon which is used in most components today, making it a promising material for optoelectronics and advanced power electronic components. However, to make GaN-based devices a competitive alternative to silicon devices, GaN manufacturing technology needs to achieve the same economies of scale. Today, state-of-the-art LED manufacturing processes are typically performed on expensive 4-inch sapphire substrates. By depositing the GaN material on 8-inch silicon substrates, the productivity of GaN-based device manufacturing can be significantly increased. IMEC's GaN-on-Si programme is also using an Applied Materials mainframe to develop 8-inch GaN-on-Si technology that is compatible with the CMOS fab infrastructure. This can further enhance productivity and result in lowering device cost.

The programme also aims to cut the cost and improve the performance of GaN devices. It brings together leading IDMs, foundries, compound semiconductor companies, equipment suppliers and substrate suppliers to develop 8-inch GaN technology.

Rudi Cartuyvels, VP and general manager, process technology at IMEC said, "We are excited to welcome three major companies to our GaN-on-Si IIAP. Less than a year after the programme's launch in July 2009, we have assembled a strong consortium, including IDMs and equipment suppliers, and we expect more companies to join in the near future. This collaboration reflects the value of IMEC's research on GaN-on-Si as a reliable cost-effective solution for next-generation LED and power electronics devices. "





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