IVWorks Raises $6.7 Million for AI-Based Gallium-Nitride Epi Technology

December 16, 2019 by Paul Shepard

IVWorks (South Korea), which manufactures gallium-nitride (GaN) epitaxial wafers, a core material in dc power devices and 5G communication devices, using deep learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) epitaxy technology has raised $6.7M in Series B funding.

As a result, total investment raised by IVWorks now amounts to $10M. Participants in this investment included Samsung Venture Investment, a specialized investment company of Samsung, which participated with a follow-on investment subsequent to a seed round, and other new investors such as KB Investment, KDB Bank and Dt&Investment.

IVWorks, the first Korean GaN epiwafer foundry to achieve 8-inch GaN on Si epiwafer and 4-inch GaN on SiC epiwafer, has recently entered into an ODM (original design manufacturer) contract with USA and Korean semiconductor companies and commenced mass production.

The investment proceeds are expected to be used for ODM production and a planned capacity expansion, as well as to upgrade the AI-based production system.

A Samsung Venture Investment official revealed the reason behind its investment in IVWorks: "We highly value its technological advantages including the cost competitiveness it has secured through the advanced equipment technology and the defect reduction technology, as well as the revolutionary AI epitaxy technology."

IVWorks' CEO Young-kyun Noh commented: "GaN power devices, which are more efficient than existing silicon power devices, and which can be miniaturized, are being applied to high-speed chargers, data server power supplies, lidar sensors, etc., thereby rapidly replacing silicon power devices. Additionally, as GaN RF devices are being used as an essential component in 5G communication base stations, the demand for GaN epi wafers, which is a core material in GaN RF devices, is also rapidly rising."

He added, "We expect to expand our market share rapidly through the supply of the contracted ODM volume and preemptive capacity expansion."