UK government helps NWF develop GaN foundry process

February 09, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
UK government helps NWF develop GaN foundry process
The UK Research and Innovation agency is supporting the development of a gallium-nitride high electron mobility transistor foundry process for Newport Wafer Fab Ltd.

The project is being coordinated by the Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd (CSC) and NWF with a plan to deliver a 650V GaN-on-silicon HEMT process for implementation with 200mm-diameter wafers.

The epitaxial process makes use of intellectual property developed by CSC in partnership with IQE. The project is supported by UKRI under the Automotive Transformation Fund although the amount of funding was not disclosed.

"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," said  Sam Evans, NWF's director of external affairs, in a statement issued by CSC.

Rob Harper, GaN programme manager at CSC added: "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."

The Compound Semiconductor Centre was founded in 2015 as a joint venture between Cardiff University and IQE plc.

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