Tuesday, February 6, 2018

MACOM and ST team to bring GaN on silicon to mainstream RF

MACOM and STMicroelectronics have agreed to develop GaN (Gallium Nitride) on Silicon wafers to be manufactured by ST for MACOM’s use across an array of RF applications.

MACOM said the deal provides it with increased Silicon wafer manufacturing capacity and improved cost structure. This could displace incumbent Silicon LDMOS and accelerate the adoption of GaN on Silicon in mainstream markets. ST and MACOM have been working together for several years to bring GaN on Silicon production up in ST’s CMOS wafer fab. As currently scheduled, sample production from ST is expected to begin in 2018.

“This agreement punctuates our long journey of leading the RF industry’s conversion to GaN on Silicon technology. To date, MACOM has refined and proven the merits of GaN on Silicon using rather modest compound semiconductor factories, replicating and even exceeding the RF performance and reliability of expensive GaN on SiC alternative technology,” said John Croteau, President and CEO, MACOM. “We expect this collaboration with ST to bring those GaN innovations to bear in a Silicon supply chain that can ultimately service the most demanding customers and applications.”

“ST’s scale and operational excellence in Silicon wafer manufacturing aims to unlock the potential to drive new RF power applications for MACOM and ST as it delivers the economic breakthroughs necessary to expand the market for GaN on Silicon,” said Marco Monti, President of the Automotive and Discrete Product Group, STMicroelectronics. “While expanding the opportunities for existing RF applications is appealing, we’re even more excited about using GaN on Silicon in new RF Energy applications, especially in automotive applications, such as plasma ignition for more efficient combustion in conventional engines, and in RF lighting applications, for more efficient and longer-lasting lighting systems."

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