21 February 2012

AZZURRO’s advisory board gains industry veterans Roland Haitz and Karl Platzoeder

AZZURRO Semiconductors AG of Magdeburg, Germany, which manufactures gallium nitride (GaN) epitaxial wafers based on large-area silicon substrates, says that its advisory board has gained two new members: former Agilent Technologies chief technology officer Dr Roland Haitz and former Siemens and Infineon executive Dr Karl Platzoeder.

Extending the advisory board with technical experts in the fields of LEDs and power semiconductors is a move to further increase corporate competence in these markets, says CEO Erwin Wolf. AZZURRO will gain a deeper understanding of market requirements, and will map these to R&D development roadmaps, he adds.

Roland Haitz is the former CTO of the Semiconductors Product Group at Agilent Technologies, a parent firm of LED maker Lumileds. AZZURRO says that, as it is using its proprietary and patented GaN-on-Si technology for large-diameter wafers to drive down the cost of LEDs, it is proud to have a seasoned expert on board who coined ‘Moore’s Law’ for optoelectronics: ‘Haitz’ Law’. In his role on the advisory board, Haitz will apply his technical and strategic experience of more than 40 years in the optoelectronics industry to further strengthen AZZURRO’s delivery of its technology.

After studying physics in Germany, Haitz joined the Shockley Transistor Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, CA. For his work with Dr William Shockley, he received his PhD degree from the Technical University of Munich in 1963. After five years at the Physics Research Laboratory of Texas Instruments he joined Hewlett-Packard as R&D Manager for optoelectronic technology and component products. During his time at HP/Agilent, the optoelectronics business grew from less than $1m in 1969 to more than $1.5bn at his retirement in 2002. Besides his career in business he also co-founded the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) and wrote the seminal paper that became the spark that ignited the solid-state lighting (SSL) revolution, says AZZURRO.

Karl Platzoeder has 35 years’ experience in power semiconductors at Siemens and Infineon, spanning engineering responsibilities (including productization) to president and general manager of the power semiconductor division. He was one of the major contributors that made Infineon/Siemens the top company in the power semiconductor field, says AZZURRO.

After studying physics at Munich University, Platzoeder began his professional career at Siemens as an R&D engineer in the Power Semiconductor Division. Later he was promoted to head of engineering and production, when his department focused on high-performance diodes and thyristors for industrial applications. In 1982 Platzoeder gained business responsibility for Discrete & GaAs Semiconductors at Siemens and drove the low-cost mass production as well as the development of chips for high-frequency applications.

In 1992 Platzoeder became president & general manager of the newly founded Discrete & Power Semiconductor Division, consolidating activities in this area at Siemens. He focussed on the rapidly growing markets for power MOS semiconductors in automotive and industrial applications. From 1997 to 2006 Platzoeder was responsible at Infineon for worldwide backend production and engineering.

Having pioneered the growth of gallium nitride on silicon substrates using metal-organic vapor phase epitaxial (MOVPE), AZZURRO is supplying epiwafers worldwide for LED and high-voltage applications. The firm claims that its unique capability to grow very thick (8 micron) high-quality gallium nitride on large-area silicon substrates (currently 150mm) enables cost breakthroughs for high-brightness LEDs and power semiconductors by making GaN-on-Si ready for standard silicon process lines.

Tags: AZZURRO GaN epiwafers

Visit: www.azzurro-semiconductors.com

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