Soitec and Sumitomo Electric Announce Collaboration on Development of Engineered GaN Substrates

November 30, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Soitec and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. announced that they are working together to develop engineered gallium nitride (GaN) substrates. The alliance will draw on Sumitomo Electric’s sophisticated GaN wafer manufacturing technology and Soitec’s unique Smart Cut™ layer transfer technology by which ultra-thin GaN layers are transferred from a single GaN wafer to produce multiple, engineered GaN substrates.

The engineered substrates retain the original, high crystalline quality of Sumitomo Electric’s GaN wafer at a lower cost. This technology will therefore facilitate widespread use of GaN substrates in applications like high brightness LEDs as well as electric power devices designed for hybrid and full electric vehicles.

"Our collaboration with Soitec will open the door to high quality, lower cost GaN substrates," said Masamichi Yokogawa, Sumitomo Electric’s Executive Officer and General Manager of Compound Semiconductor Material Division. "We have demonstrated that the transfer of a thin layer of our high quality GaN crystal to a carrier wafer is the right approach to make our GaN material accessible for various applications such as power devices and white LEDs. We are expecting the collaboration with Soitec will enable wider use of our high-quality GaN wafer. We believe device manufacturers focused on low unit area costs will find value in the greater functionality of these engineered substrates."

"We are delighted to work with Sumitomo Electric and excited about what we have been able to achieve together so far. We are partnering with the leader in GaN wafer manufacturing to offer engineered substrates that have the best crystal quality available today. This collaboration represents the first step of an important move in our strategy to address the need for dramatically improved efficiency in power conversion and lighting with innovative materials engineering solutions," said Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, CEO of Soitec.