9 November 2011

GaN Systems closes first-round funding

GaN Systems Inc of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, which is a fabless semiconductor manufacturer developing gallium nitride (GaN)-based diodes and transistors for power conversion and control applications, has closed its Series A financing round, led by Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital (claimed to be the world’s most active cleantech venture capital firm in 2010) and Rockport Capital (which partners with cleantech entrepreneurs worldwide).

The funding builds on ongoing government support from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. The firm has also received support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for a project to further develop and demonstrate its patented GaN technology, which targets more energy-efficient and lower-cost electronic products and renewable energy solutions.

GaN overcomes the speed, temperature, and power handling limitations of traditional silicon power conversion approaches, says CEO & co-founder Girvan Patterson. “Cleantech will require a social transition and financial investment unequalled since the industrial revolution, and it will take radical electronics innovation to make it happen,” he adds.

“We will offer the Cool Switching product line of highly efficient, low-loss diodes, transistors, and integrated systems,” says chief technology officer & co-founder John Roberts. “We will also partner with other semiconductor companies looking to leverage the strengths of gallium nitride using our patented designs,” he adds. “Our unique island-based topology builds on years of gallium nitride process research at the NRC and will enable power devices that are typically four times smaller (resulting in lighter weight), more efficient, have longer battery life, and are lower cost,” Roberts reckons. “In cleantech applications, power conversion efficiency is a universal requirement and our designs dramatically impact the economics of that goal,” he claims.

“The National Research Council of Canada helps entrepreneurs such as GaN Systems grow,” says Dr Ian Potter, VP, NRC Engineering. “Together, we take ideas from concept to reality, allowing them to commercialize their technologies in a global marketplace,” he adds.

“After four hard but exciting years working on the cutting edge of gallium nitride research, we’re excited to now have the opportunity to deliver on our vision of a new generation of power conversion products,” comments Patterson. “Although venture backing has been slow in the region this year, Ottawa has an astounding talent pool to draw from.”

Tags: GaN

Visit: www.gansystems.com

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