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GaN-on-Si tech cuts HB-LED cost by 80%

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GaN-on-silicon? semiconductor processing? HB LED?

Plessey Semiconductors Ltd has acquired a University of Cambridge spin-out that commercializes innovative technologies for the growth of gallium nitride (GaN) high-brightness (HB) LEDs on large-area silicon substrates. CamGaN Ltd's 6in processing facility in Plymouth, England will allow Plessey to manufacture HB LEDs that it believes offers cost reductions by 80 percent.

The HB LED solution enables the growth of thin HB LED structures on standard, readily available, silicon substrates. Current technologies use silicon carbide (SiC) or sapphire substrates that are expensive and difficult to scale-up, said the company. The foreseen cost savings will come from reduced scrap rates, decreased batch time and the use of automated semiconductor processing equipment. These cost reductions will be achieved while enabling outputs in excess of 150lm/W later this year, stated Plessey.

GaN-on-Si tech

CamGaN has a 6in processing facility in Plymouth, England.

"HB LED lighting represents the future of domestic, architectural, medical and automotive lighting. Achieving the goals of high efficiency and brightness is key to the rapid deployment of energy saving, solid state lighting," noted Michael LeGoff, Plessey's managing director. "This new British technology provides cost and performance advantages that will constitute a game-changing step forward toward the replacement of incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with HB LED lamps."

"To date, the biggest technological challenge preventing the commercialization of HB LEDs grown on large-area silicon substrates has been the large lattice mismatch between GaN and silicon," added John Ellis, chief engineer at Plessey. "Plessey's new GaN-on-silicon process has overcome this challenge and our expertise combined with the intrinsic cost savings of using automated 6in processing equipment will position Plessey's HB LED lighting products at the forefront of the industry."

GaN-on-Si tech

The 6in GaN-on-silicon tech claims to cut scrap rate and batch time.

Plessey also announced its plan to release products for smart lighting concepts that incorporate existing Plessey sensing and control technologies including the EPIC sensor. These smart lighting products will enable intelligent energy management, remote control, controlled dimming and automated response to ambient conditions, indicated the company.


HB LED lighting represents the future of domestic, architectural, medical and automotive lighting.

Plessey's first samples of a blue LED are characterized by peak emission at 460nm. The technology extends to other emission wavelengths such as cyan and green. Being able to achieve such high brightness at the blue end of the spectrum enables phosphors to be used to produce white light with a balanced spectrum of light emission that is better for the eye. White output powers of 150lm/W are planned for late 4Q12.

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