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22 October 2019

Odyssey acquires fab to allow small-scale production over 10,000 wafers/year

Odyssey Semiconductor Technologies Inc, which is developing high-voltage power switching components and systems based on proprietary gallium nitride (GaN) processing technology, has completed the acquisition of an integrated semiconductor design, fabrication, test and packaging facility (as well as associated tooling) in Ithaca, NY, USA.

Complete with a mix of class 1000 and class 10,000 cleanroom space as well as tools for semiconductor development and production, the 10,000ft2 facility is suitable for compound semiconductor device development and small-scale production with a wafer capacity exceeding 10,000 wafers/year.

Lithography capabilities include i-line steppers adapted for handling small pieces up through 200mm-diameter wafers. High-throughput metal and dielectric deposition equipment and advanced etch and packaging tools should allow Odyssey to accelerate development of its proprietary >1000V GaN power-switching transistor technology. The facility will also expand Odyssey's existing device development and foundry service.

Odyssey has been developing its proprietary vertical-conduction GaN transistor technology at various user-facility labs. The firm reckons that, with the new facility, it can significantly accelerate the development of its GaN power-switching transistor products operating above 1000V.

“This acquisition dramatically improves our ability to design and manufacture our proprietary disruptive GaN-based high-voltage switching power-conversion devices and systems and should accelerate our timeline into prototype and commercial production,” says co-founder & CEO Dr Rick Brown.

Odyssey is currently developing its technology to produce GaN-based high-voltage switching power-conversion devices and systems, targeted at supplanting silicon carbide (SiC) as the dominant premium power-switching device material.

GaN-based systems outperform silicon- and SiC-based systems due to GaN’s superior material properties. To date, processing challenges have limited GaN devices to operating voltages below 1000V. Odyssey says that it has developed a novel technique that will allow GaN to be processed in a manner that, for the first time, will make production of high-voltage GaN power-switching devices operating above 1000V viable.

Currently dominated by silicon carbide, the premium power switching device market (i.e. applications where silicon systems perform insufficiently) is projected to exceed $3.5bn by 2025, driven largely by the rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and the growing number of installations of renewables such as solar and wind power as well as increased demand for more efficient industrial motor drives.

Tags: SiC power devices

Visit: www.odysseysemi.com

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