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GaN-on-Si gathers pace as more players enter the market

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GaN-on-Si? patent? Yole?

The GaN-on-Si substrate market has witnessed patenting activities from several LED makers though only a few see the through the completion of their strategy and road map. Between the LED and power markets however, GaN-on-Si will dominate the latter, driven by a lower cost and CMOS compatibility, according to an earlier report by Yole. (See: GaN-on-Si gains ground in power, remains an option in LED.)

Under the IP context, Yole De?veloppement and KnowMade have collaborated on a patent analysis, revealing that the GaN-on-Si IP is mature enough to initiate mass production. Existing patents address the technical challenges standing in the way of the development of the technology.

Yole_GaN-on-Si IP

The challenges involve a mismatch between GaN and Si, which results in dislocations and crack/warpage. The high lattice mismatch yields a high defect density in epitaxial layers, while the high thermal expansion coefficient mismatch leads to a large tensile stress during cooling from the growth temperature to room temperature. The tensile stress causes film cracking and a concave bending of the wafer.

Currently, the patented technologies reflect the significant improvements that have been made on key material issues such as dislocation density reduction and stress management for preventing cracks and warpage of the wafer.

Fundamental patents describing a gallium-nitride-based compound semiconductor grown on a silicon substrate were filed before the 1990s with the most significant assigned to TDK and Fujitsu. In the early 1990s, Toyoda Gosei and the University of Nagoya filed the first concepts of a buffer layer for improving the crystallinity of GaN.

These patents have been followed by an ever increasing number of applications since 1995 as more companies competed in GaN-on-Si technology to meet the technological challenges, the market demand and lower manufacturing costs.

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