IGaN launches wafer sharing to lower costs in gallium nitride transistor production

Electronics in cell towers will be one potential application for gallium nitride transistors, which will be cheaper to make under a new wafer-sharing approach. (Pixabay)

A Singapore-based silicon manufacturer announced a cost-effective approach for customers to share wafers in production of gallium nitride (GaN) transistors.

IGaN said its Multi-Project Wafer shuttle program is designed to promote high volume production of 8-in (200 mm) wafers. Customers will see lower costs by sharing the expense of photomasks and wafers they use with other shuttle program partners, IGaN said.

As a result, more partners will be able to create gallium nitride devices that are capable of improving power efficiency conversion by up to 50%.

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“The industry is ripe for a transition to GaN devices with various infrastructure coming together, making it conducive to new technologies,” said George Wong, president IGaN in a statement.

The new approach will make the 650 volt E-mode GaN transistor more commonplace, the company predicted. Those transistors are expected to be more widely used in inverters, onboard battery chargers, AC-DC power supplies, motor drives and VHF small form factor power adapters that need highly efficient power conversion. The transistors are used in many different applications, including cell towers.

IGaN has invested in research and development of a gallium nitride on silicon transistor device fabrication process. The market for such products is $32 billion in silicon power applications. IGaN works with foundry partner SilTerra.

The MPW service launches in mid-August. Using a 200 mm wafer over a 150mm fabrication is half as costly, the company said.

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