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10 March 2015

Infineon and Panasonic to establish dual sourcing for normally-off 600V GaN power devices

Germany's Infineon Technologies AG (which in January acquired US-based power management technology provider International Rectifier Corp) and Japan's Panasonic Corp have agreed to jointly develop gallium nitride (GaN) devices based on Panasonic's normally-off (enhancement-mode) GaN-on-silicon transistor structure integrated into Infineon's surface-mounted device (SMD) packages.

In this context Panasonic has provided Infineon with a license for its normally-off GaN transistor structure. This agreement will enable each firm to manufacture high-performance GaN devices. Customers will also have two possible sources for compatible packaged GaN power switches: an arrangement not available for any other GaN-on-Si device so far, it is claimed. For the first time the firms will showcase samples of a 600V 70mΩ device in a DSO (dual small outline) package at the 30th IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC 2015) trade show in Charlotte, NC, USA (15-19 March).

GaN-on-Si has been receiving attention as a next-generation compound semiconductor technology that can enable high power density and hence a smaller footprint (e.g. for power supplies and adapters) while also serving as a major key for energy-efficiency improvement. In general, power devices based on GaN-on-Si can be used in a wide range of fields, from high-voltage industrial applications such as power supplies in server farms (a potential application of the showcased 600V GaN device) to low-voltage applications such as DC-DC conversion (e.g. in high-end consumer goods). According to an IHS market research report, the GaN-on-Si related market for power semiconductors is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 50% from $15m in 2014 to $800m by 2023.

"Infineon is committed to serve its customers with a broad best-in-class product and technology portfolio including reliable power devices based on GaN," says Andreas Urschitz, president of Infineon's Power Management & Multimarket Division. "Enhancement-mode GaN-on-Si switches, together with our corresponding driver and optimized driving scheme, will provide high value to our customers, while the dual-sourcing concept will help them manage and stabilize their supply chains," he adds.

"Panasonic developed its normally-off GaN power technology, which has a simple configuration and easy-to control dynamics, by making full use of its compound semiconductor experience," says Toru Nishida, president of Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions Co Ltd. "We expect to accelerate the expansion of GaN power devices by licensing our normally-off GaN transistor structure out of our GaN power technology to Infineon," he adds. "We will continuously contribute to solutions for consumer requests by innovating our normally-off GaN technology."

See related items:

Infineon completes acquisition of International Rectifier

Panasonic develops 600V GaN power transistor with 'failure-free' stable switching operation

Tags: Panasonic Infineon International Rectifier GaN-on-Si power transistor

Visit: www.infineon.com

Visit: www.irf.com

Visit: http://panasonic.net

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