To strengthen the competitiveness in the EV market with GaN-on-GaN epiwafers
The race for efficiency with SiC in the high-power devices market
South Korean GaN epi-wafer startup, IVWorks announced on the 24th Jan. that they acquired Saint-Gobain’s (France) GaN wafer business.
GaN epi-wafer is a material comprising multi-stacked III-N compound semiconductor films on a wafer. It is used in high-speed chargers, electric vehicle (EV) power conversion, and defense radars. Silicon carbide (SiC) or silicon (Si) wafer is used to stack III-N films depending on the application field, but GaN wafers are required in high-power devices such as EV powertrains.
Saint-Gobain in France and some Japanese material companies, such as Sumitomo and Mitsubishi, are leading production technology of GaN wafers. With the acquisition of the GaN wafer business from Saint-Gobain, IVWorks has acquired state-of-the-art technology for mass production of 4- and 6-inch GaN wafers.
Worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. Saint-Gobain developed the core technology to create state-of-the art GaN wafers that is better leveraged by a company solely focused on this opportunity.
IVWorks is the sole South Korean enterprise specializing in semiconductor materials that has successfully mass-produced GaN epi-wafers of 4-, 6-, and 8-inch. It has to its credit the in-house development of the world’s first epi-wafer production technology integrated with an artificial intelligence production system. The pioneering start-up has also recently installed a 12-inch production facility, for the first time in South Korea.
CEO Young-Kyun Noh of IVWorks said “recently, the use of GaN power devices are increasing significantly in all electronic products due to their advantages in terms of energy efficiency, and interest in GaN is high in the EV applications, a new market area,”. “Based on this acquisition, we will be able to expand our product portfolio by supplying GaN-on-GaN epi-wafers in high-power application fields and compete with SiC materials in the EV market.”