8 February 2021
GaN Systems ships 20 millionth GaN transistor
GaN Systems Inc of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (a fabless developer of gallium nitride-based power switching semiconductors for power conversion and control applications) says that it has shipped its 20 millionth GaN transistor and that its factory partners are on schedule to complete a forty-fold capacity expansion in 2021.
The capacity increase is in advance of the next wave of orders for GaN Systems’ transistors across many applications. The firm says that it has been seeing exceptionally high growth in several key industrial markets. In addition to phone and computer chargers and adapters, its transistors are shipping in audio amplifiers, data-center power supplies, industrial motor drives, laser drivers, medical power supplies, satellite and aerospace systems, and automotive electric vehicle (EV) power electronics.
GaN Systems claims that the proven reliability and demonstrated benefits of its line of 100V and 650V products (such as higher efficiency and power density while reducing size, weight and costs) are contributing factors to GaN’s growing market acceptance versus legacy silicon and new silicon carbide (SiC) transistors.
Additionally, GaN is significantly cheaper than SiC, which requires a more expensive and complex manufacturing process, says the firm. Costs required to increase capacity for SiC are 10x higher than for GaN, it adds. For GaN, low capital expenditure (CapEx) for capacity, combined with very low substrate cost, results in GaN transistors being lower cost than SiC. Also, GaN is half the price that it was just a few years ago, making system costs similar or lower than power systems built with legacy silicon transistors, it is reckoned.
“Our product design expertise, range of product offering, and collaborative customer partnerships have produced a market-leading GaN product line,” claims CEO Jim Witham. “This is supported by our tremendous growth and [foundry partner] Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation’s commitment to stay ahead of our demand curve.”
GaN Systems says that major companies and OEMs are now designing and shipping products with gallium nitride. As forecasted in GaN Systems’ ‘2021 Top Technology Predictions in Power Electronics’, the market is seeing increased demand for and adoption of GaN-powered products. The perceived risk factor has shifted from technology adoption risk to the risk of being left behind because you didn’t adopt GaN, reckons the firm.