IVWorks has acquired the GaN-on-GaN epitaxial wafer business and technology from Saint-Gobain, a French conglomerate. With this, the South Korean start-up intends to push competition in electric vehicles with silicon carbide MOSFETs.
The French conglomerate Saint-Gobain is one of the world's leading companies in the field of lightweight and sustainable construction, developing, producing and offering materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. At the same time, the company has developed a key technology to manufacture GaN wafers.
This business segment has now been acquired by IVWorks. This gives the South Korean start-up access to state-of-the-art technology for the mass production of GaN wafers with diameters of 4 inches and 6 inches. Aside from Saint-Gobain, some Japanese material suppliers such as Sumitomo Chemical and Mitsubishi Chemical can also manufacture such wafers. Typically, GaN power semiconductors today are grown in a hetero-epitaxy on silicon (GaN-on-Si) or silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) wafers.
IVWorks has successfully manufactured 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch GaN-on-GaN epi wafers in large volumes and has developed an epi wafer process that uses artificial intelligence. More recently, the company has also launched a production line for 12-inch wafers.
"Due to their benefits in energy efficiency, the use of GaN power devices is increasing significantly in a number of markets, and there is great interest in gallium nitride in the electric vehicle sector," said Young-Kyun Noh, CEO of IVWorks. "With this acquisition, we can expand our product portfolio by offering GaN-on-GaN epi wafers for high-performance applications and compete with silicon carbide MOSFETs in the electric vehicle market."