15 November 2022
Cambridge GaN Devices secures $19m in Series B funding round
Fabless semiconductor company Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd (CGD) has raised $19m in a Series B funding round led by Parkwalk Advisors and BGF, with participation from IQ Capital, CIC, Foresight Williams Technology and Martlet Capital. The investment will enable CGD to begin mass production of its range of GaN transistors for power applications.
Spun out of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering’s Electrical Power and Energy Conversion group in 2016 by Dr Giorgia Longobardi and professor Florin Udrea, CGD designs, develops and commercializes power semiconductors products that use gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon substrates.
“As we move to a net-zero carbon society with rapidly increasing levels of electrification, we need clean, renewable sources of electricity and more efficient conversion methods. GaN provides the optimum conversion solution, reducing power losses by more than 50% and increasing energy conversion efficiency to above 99%,” notes co-founder & CEO Longobardi. “If all data centers were to adopt GaN, this would save 12.4TWh of electricity per year, or 9 million tons of CO2 – the equivalent of taking 1.9 million internal combustion engines vehicles off the road for a year [according to Eaton, Statkraft ‘Data Centers and Decarbonization’, October 2021],” she adds. “Our ICeGaN GaN transistors – which are now in the hands of customers at scale – are amongst the most efficient devices of their type on the market. Our devices are also the easiest for designers to use.”
CGD has already developed new intellectual property and brought to market its new ICeGaN GaN transistor family, which addresses a $50bn global power semiconductor market. The firm is targeting multiple industries such as consumer and industrial power supplies, lighting, data centers and automotive hybrid electric vehicles (HEV/EV). CGD claims that its technology provides efficient, sustainable and more cost-effective power solutions for electronic equipment.
CGD is leading a $10m European-funded GaNext project developing GaN-based modules for low- and high-power applications; is participating in the P3EP UK supply chain initiative for PCB-embedded power systems with GaN devices. The firm recently launched the ICeData project to develop highly reliable GaN power transistors and ICs to cut data-center emissions. CGD is also focused on key partnerships with their customers focused at datacom and automotive solutions. The firm has completed its brand development, moved to new offices, and now employs over 40 staff worldwide, with more planned to support the up-scaling.
“This latest round of investment is a great recognition of our success to date, with new and existing investors confirming the strength of our technology,” says Longobardi. “We are thrilled to be in a position to move to mass production and global supply, delivering devices where our unique technology can have the biggest impact,” she adds.
“CGD’s technology can play a significant role in the global shift to net zero and it is already making an impact in real-world applications,” comments John Pearson, investor at Parkwalk Advisors. “Parkwalk is delighted to be able to continue supporting the company and its impressive and growing team,” he adds.
“The commercialization of CGD’s technology comes at an important point in time, as we look for technology-enabled solutions to lower power consumption across applications as diverse as phone chargers and data centers,” says Ian Lane, investor at CIC. “Cambridge is a globally important hub for semiconductor design and CGD is a great example of the innovation in the cluster,” he adds.
“Imec.IC-link helps companies, academia and emerging start-ups to bring their chip-based innovations to production by providing complete ASIC solutions, including design, access to advanced ASIC foundry technologies, assembly and test & qualification services,” says Arnaud Garnier, business development manager at Imec.IC-link. “As a Value Chain Aggregator of TSMC, we supported Cambridge GaN Devices as the first GaN customer in Europe.”