CEA Sells Stake in Exagan to STMicroelectronics

April 13, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

STMicroelectronics acquires a majority stake in Exagan from CEA's strategic investment fund.

CEA Tech is a technology research hub with 45 technology platforms based on three campuses situated in Grenoble, Paris Saclay, and INES Chambéry. CEA utilizes a wide network of industry partners and expertise to help develop and disseminate new technologies to respond to the challenges facing economies and communities. 

The company's broad portfolio of technologies extends across medical systems, data intelligence, solar energy, cybersecurity, nanoelectronics, advanced manufacturing, materials, cyber-physical systems, and more. Recently, the company announced the sale of its stake in Exagan, a major innovator in gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology, to STMicroelectronics.


Leaders in GaN Technologies and Solutions

Exagan is a spin-off company backed by Soitec and CEA-Leti, launched in April 2014. The company works to drive market adoption of GaN technology and solutions. Exagan specializes in the design and development of advanced power-electronics devices using GaN-on-silicon wafers. 


Image used courtesy of STMicroelectronics
Image courtesy of STMicroelectronics. 


GaN-based technologies are becoming highly favored for power electronics systems and technologies with research revealing their capability for high efficiency, high power density, and high operating capacity when compared against competitor silicon-based devices. The use of GaN technologies and solutions can enable power savings, total system downsizing, and overall cost reduction. 

Future applications for this technology include power factor correction and DC/DC converters in servers, telecom, industrial applications, on-board chargers for EV and DC-DC converters for automotive applications, and personal electronics applications like power adaptors. Exagan developed a network of technology partners and an industrial logistics chain for GaN chip production. This enabled the company to enhance its expertise in GaN device production and GaN-on-silicon epitaxy.


STMicroelectronics and Exagan 

STMicroelectronics is the creators and makers of semiconductor technologies, devices, and solutions. Part of their wide remit of technologies has a foothold in areas including AI, BCD (BIPOLAR-CMOS-DMOS) for power ICs,  vertical intelligent power transistors, silicon carbide technology for high-voltage switching and rectification, imaging sensors, GaN, PCM (Phase-Change Memory), MEMs technology and more. STMicroelectronics' technology has applications for the automotive industry, telecom, data centers, medical and healthcare, energy, factory automation, IoT, as well as personal electronics including audio, gaming, and virtual-augmented reality. 


Exagan GaN power solutions. Image used courtesy of Exagan
Image courtesy of Exagan. 


Staying ahead of the game, ST has secured investment in the arena of GaN technologies through attaining a majority stake in Exagan. This move is set to boost the bleeding-edge technology sector of GaN-based power electronics.

In a news release, President and CEO of STMicroelectronics, Jean-Marc Chery said that the acquisition “is another step forward in strengthening our global technology leadership in power semiconductors and our long-term GaN roadmap, ecosystem, and business.”

Exagan will continue to produce high-quality GaN products while being supported by ST in their product development. As a firm supporter of start-ups and a strong proponent of the development of industrial partnerships, CEA's sale of Exagan highlights their ambition to provide beneficial technological innovation for the industries of the future.