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Silicon power MOSFET market will gradually be replaced by GaN devices

Published:2010/11/5 15:38:30 |

     Super semiconductor material GaN (GaN) era is opening. Than the traditional silicon and GaAs (gallium arsenide) is more pressure, has become one of the key materials of high-power LED, and favored in the RF field, including the Cree, RFMD and the launch of Eudyna and Nitronex GaN for these markets products. In addition, including IR, ST, Fujitsu, Panasonic, and newer entrants to EPC (Yi & P) companies are all involved in the GaN device market. GaN iSuppli forecast data to the device TAM reached 10.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, while the potential market value of EPC products and $ 7,000,000,000 in annual growth rate of 11.1%, the company's co-founder and CEOAlexLidow the case said.
     In 2004, Eudyna introduced SiC-based GaN substrate depletion mode transistor radio; then introduced silicon depletion Nitronex GaN RF transistors. The IR also launched the beginning of its first silicon-based GaN power devices - depletion of the iP2010 and iP2011. The difference with the competition, EPC introduced enhanced GaN power transistors, silicon-based GaN technology established in 150mm silicon wafer standard CMOS process. In the middle of GaN and the silicon substrate, a AlN isolation layer (see Figure 1).
     According to Alex introduced the most potential market for its products the opportunity is to replace the power MOSFET.
     Figure 1: EPC enhanced GaN device structure, which can be manufactured using standard CMOS technology.
     Interestingly, EPC and Alex's former club IR (International Rectifier) power in the GaN market, dance, and have asserted that the performance of traditional silicon power MOSFET has been excavated to the limit. Despite the erosion of the power MOSFET GaN began to market, but its suppliers will not be easy to create a market for 30 years, a plate. Alex believes that within 5 years, silicon will remain active in the power MOSFET market.
     The company is currently in 40V, 100V and 200V two areas have their own products, will launch the end of 2010 the GaN 400V and 600V products, then will be able to cover 90% of the existing power MOSFET market, and mobile devices, laptops, servers, and switch / hub would be the highest market penetration of its product areas. For example, the cost of the server's power consumption is almost equal to the server itself, a dual-processor server card, 450W power consumption, there are 160W consumed in the power conversion process, while the GaN technology can reduce power consumption by 18% of the total server.
     But using groundbreaking new materials for semiconductor products how can we ensure success on the market? Alex that success will require 4 major elements: the potential to support new features, easy to use, cost effective and more reliable.
     Alex believes that with the rapid coverage of the new GaN transistor current power MOSFET / IGBT voltage / current range, and its AC / DC, synchronous rectification and PFC will be significantly improved in performance. The enhanced power MOSFET transistors and GaN are very similar, so designers can take full advantage of the existing design. But he also reminded, GaN transistor gate rupture effects (gaterupture) more sensitive than the power MOSFET, so pay attention to ESD protection, as well as its high-frequency characteristics are also required in the design of PCB layout design when more careful.
     For a given device area, power conversion products, on-resistance RDS (ON) is the decisive factor in the cost, and the GaN devices more voltage than silicon devices, on the negative impact of resistance is smaller. EPC's 200VGaN device on-resistance of 25 micro-Europe, and the use of flip technology, but also further reduce costs. However, the current silicon-based epitaxial growth of GaN epitaxial much more expensive than silicon.
     Table: Enhanced GaN MOSFET transistor manufacturing cost compared with silicon.
     But Alex pointed out that with the widespread adoption of GaN devices, 5 years after the cost of GaN epitaxial growth of silicon epitaxial growth is expected to cost close to (see Table 1). In reliability, Alex, said the industry published data from the test data, and the EPC, GaN technology has been demonstrated in commercial applications, an acceptable level. So he is convinced that science and technology in Taiwan, Han Lei (Episil) wafer foundry support, EPC's huge production capacity poised to take off.
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