GaN-on-Si Power Device Production Ramp starts at Exagan

March 01, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

AIXTRON SE has shipped an AIX G5+ C system to French start-up company Exagan, a producer of advanced materials and high-efficiency gallium nitride (GaN) power switches that significantly increase the performance and efficiency of electrical converters. The company is a spin-off from Soitec, a global leader in innovative semiconductor materials, and CEA-Leti, a leading European research center focused on micro- and nanotechnologies. Exagan will use AIXTRON's deposition tool in beginning volume production of GaN-on-Si materials for power-switching devices.

Exagan, in collaboration with its R&D partner CEA-Leti, selected the AIX G5+ C epitaxial deposition tool after evaluating its effectiveness in achieving tight uniformity control and high throughput using Exagan’s proprietary G-Stack™ process technology. This technology is used in creating a unique stack of GaN-based materials that enables the fabrication of Exagan’s G-FET™ high-power, very-high-efficiency transistors. Along with Soitec’s industrial facility and expertise and CEA-Leti’s best-in-class 200 mm equipment and characterization tools, AIXTRON’s equipment adds to Exagan’s supply chain as it ramps up its material production facility in Grenoble.

This equipment installation is a major step in Exagan’s and CEA-Leti’s strategic partnership to accelerate Exagan’s GaN-on-Si integration roadmap. The partnership is supported by the “G-drive+” R&D project, funded by Bpifrance through the Investissements d’Avenir.

Fabrice Letertre, COO and Co-Founder of Exagan, comments: “AIXTRON and our parent company CEA-Leti have enjoyed a long and successful R&D relationship developing GaN-on-Si technology. Now Exagan is partnering with AIXTRON to deliver on our industrial roadmap by using epi to reach our cost milestones. By implementing an efficient GaN-on-Si manufacturing process on 200mm silicon substrates, we are aligning GaN technology with silicon manufacturing standards. This makes our G-FET products the most cost-efficient wide-bandgap solution for the solar, IT electronics, connectivity and automotive markets.”

“Our AIX G5+ C is the only system to date offering full automation of GaN-on-Si MOCVD processes as commonly encountered in the silicon industry. The system achieves the highest on-wafer layer uniformity in a batch multi-wafer configuration for maximum throughput and yield. We are pleased to work with the Exagan team on volume production of 200mm GaN-on-Si materials for efficient power electronics applications,” says Dr. Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President Power Electronics at AIXTRON SE.