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AKHAN Semiconductor Manufactures First 300mm CMOS Diamond Wafer

August 26, 2021 by Alessandro Mascellino

AHKAN hopes this technology will improve power handling, heat management, durability, and more.

AKHAN Semiconductor has manufactured the world-first, 300MM complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) diamond wafers. The new technology will reportedly improve power handling, heat management, and durability of electronics across a variety of industries and manufacturing processes.

The news comes in the midst of a renewed assessment from the U.S. of the semiconductor supply chain as global shortages continue to impact the industry.

A 300mm CMOS diamond wafer. Image used courtesy of AKHAN Semiconductor.

AKHAN Semiconductor: a Company Overview

First established in 2013 by Adam Khan, the firm specializes in the manufacturing of diamond and nanocarbon semiconductors. Based in Illinois, United States, AKHAN aims to entirely replace silicon in semiconductors with diamond.

To further its vision of a “Diamond Age” of electronics, AKHAN currently manufactures a number of different components. These include display glass, optics, thermal management solutions, and monolithically integrated diamond integrated circuits (ICs).

AKHAN’s Diamond Smartphone Screens. Image used courtesy of AKHAN Semiconductor.

For a complete list of the company’s diamond-based products, you can follow this link.


The First 300mm CMOS Diamond Wafer

From a technical standpoint, most semiconductor manufacturers usually rely on 300mm silicon wafers to deliver cutting-edge solutions. For context, 300mm silicon wafers have become the norm after 2008 for most manufacturers, with 200mm being largely used before that.

The new technology allows for improved performance and optimized energy consumption, but according to AKHAN, even 300mm silicon wafers have now reached their physical limitations.

To circumvent the issue, the company believes the ability to produce 300MM diamond wafers is increasingly crucial, particularly in advanced industries such as aerospace, telecommunications, military and defense, and consumer electronics.

“From weapon systems to spacecraft, the world’s most sophisticated devices and technologies stand to benefit exponentially from diamond,” Adam Khan explained.

The CEO defined the company’s 300mm diamond wafer as the foundational building block that will lead to more powerful and durable devices.

According to Akhan, these devices will run cooler and will enable firms to improve their output substantially while making minor updates to their existing manufacturing processes.

Using diamond as a semiconductor material in electronics offers several advantages over silicon. Image used courtesy of AKHAN Semiconductor.

“Now that we’ve proven the ability to manufacture this ideal material on 300mm wafers, fabricators will have access to the most optimal chip material so that their end products perform far more efficiently.”


The Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing

In addition, AKHAN believes diamond wafers are also the only option for the U.S. to tackle the current global shortage of ICs.

“The semiconductor chip shortage has been well documented this year,” explained Tom Lacey, AKHAN’s Chairman of the Board.

This, according to the firm, is particularly true in a moment when the U.S. is trying to recapture a leadership position in this industry.

“As the U.S. plans to increase chip supply, it is also important to fabricate using the best materials available to enable the best performance,” Lacey added.

The executive, therefore, called for policymakers to prioritize companies that are moving beyond silicon and focusing on the development of next-generation chips with materials like diamond.

Lacey also warned how, beyond diamond’s advanced capabilities, U.S. adversaries fully understand how useful and powerful the material can be and are already using it to develop advanced weapons.