EpiGaN Highlights RF Power and Power Switching GaN Epi Wafer Solutions

June 02, 2018 by Paul Shepard

EpiGaN will highlight the latest enhancements of its GaN epiwafer solutions for RF power and power switching at PCIM Europe 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany, (June 5-7, 2018).  At PCIM Europe 2018, EpiGaN will exhibit in Hall 6, Booth 432. EpiGaN, with its modern production site in Hasselt/Belgium, is a global supplier of GaN-on-Si and GaN-on-SiC (Silicon Carbide) material solutions for next-generation semiconductor technology devices.

EpiGaN’s epiwafer technology has started to revolutionize the energy sector, where GaN enables smaller, lighter and more energy-efficient power conversion systems, such as consumer power supplies, and data servers on an industrial scale. GaN also is a key enabler of 5G wireless communication systems.

5G requires exceptionally high-speed connections for multimedia streaming, virtual reality, M2M, or autonomous driving. To realize these benefits, 5G sys­tems need to rely on new semiconductor technologies – such as GaN – to fuel these ground-breaking innovations.

In the past EpiGaN has pioneered 200mm GaN/Si 650V epiwafer solutions for power management systems that have entered the mainstream CMOS manufacturing lines of Si-based IDMs and foundries. Recently, EpiGaN has taken up the 5G challenge and successfully mastered 200mm versions of its HVRF GaN-on-Si as well as 150mm GaN/SiC epiwafer solutions.

Among the distinctive achievements of EpiGaN’s RF power products are excellent dynamic behavior, highest power densities at mmW ranges and lowest RF losses (<0.8dB/mm up to 110GHz) for the GaN-on-Si version of its HVRF product family.

A key competitive advantage of EpiGaN’s GaN/Si epi-wafer technology is its in-situ SiN capping layer. This special feature provides superior surface passivation and device reliability, and it enables contamination-free processing in existing standard Si-CMOS production infrastructures. In-situ SiN structuring also allows the use of pure AlN layers as barrier materials, which results in lower conduction losses and/or leads to the design of smaller-size chips for the same current rating.

For ultimate RF performance in the 5G-related 30- and 40-GHz millimeterwave bands EpiGaN has developed HEMT heterostructures featuring pure AlN barrier layers in combination with an in-situ SiN capping layer to complement the typical AlGaN counterparts.

This allows to locate the transistor’s gate very close to the densely populated channel, thus maximizing the electrostatic coupling between the two (i.e. improved gate control). This will result in far superior RF transistor characteristics needed for 5G MMIC developments.

“EpiGaN supplies industry-leading GaN epi-wafer solutions for power switching and RF power applications to the global semiconductor industry for several years now,” says EpiGaN co-founder and CEO Dr Marianne Germain, “in particular we are proud about our GaN-on-Si epi-wafers that show the lowest RF loss in the market up to 100GHz. This is a timely answer to the increasing demands in wireless communication such as the introduction of 5G and the Internet of Things.“

At PCIM Europe, Dr Germain will participate in a high-ranking panel discussion “GaN – Devices for the Future Design” taking place at the show’s Fach Forum, which is organized by Bodo’s Power Systems (June 6).

Dr Markus Behet, EpiGaN CMO, will give a presentation entitled “How GaN Will Dislodge Si-based Technologies in Power & RF” at the PCIM Europe Exhibitor Forum (June 5).

Dr Joff Derluyn, EpiGaN CTO, will present “Development of Epitaxial Processes for GaN-on-Si for RF Applications” at IMS 2018 in Philadelphia (June 15).