ST looks to ExaGan for yet more GaN technology

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

STMicroelectronics has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in French Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology developer Exagan with an option to take over the whole company.

ST says Exagan’s expertise in epitaxy on 200mm wafers, product development and applications will broaden and accelerate its power GaN roadmap and business for automotive, industrial and consumer applications. Exagan will continue to execute its product roadmap, including integrating GaN FETs and drivers in a single package,  and ST will help to deploy and distribute its GaN devices.

Last week ST signed a key partnership deal with TSMC for GaN technology: ST looks to TSMC for its third gallium nitrtride technology

The agreement also provides for the acquisition by ST of the remaining minority stake in Exagan 24 months after the closing of the acquisition of the majority stake, which is similar to the deal ST did with silicon cabide wafer maker Norstel. The transaction was funded with available cash.

“ST has built strong momentum in silicon carbide and is now expanding in another very promising compound material, gallium nitride, to drive adoption of the power products based on GaN by customers across the automotive, industrial and consumer markets” said Jean-Marc Chery, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics. “The acquisition of a majority stake in Exagan is another step forward in strengthening our global technology leadership in power semiconductors and our long-term GaN roadmap, ecosystem and business. It comes in addition to ongoing developments with CEA-Leti in Tours, France, and the recently-announced collaboration with TSMC.”

A key advantage of the ExaGan technology is that the devices can be built with GaN layers on standard 200mm silicon wafers, driving up volume and reducing costs. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Grenoble (France), Exagan is dedicated to accelerating the power-electronics industry’s transition from silicon-based technology to GaN-on-silicon technology.

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