Geneva, Switzerland and Hsinchu, Taiwan R.O.C., Feb. 20, 2020 – STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and TSMC (TWSE:2330, NYSE: TSM), the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, are collaborating to accelerate the development of Gallium Nitride (GaN) process technology and the supply of both discrete and integrated GaN devices to market. Through this collaboration, ST’s innovative and strategic GaN products will be manufactured using TSMC’s leading GaN process technology.
GaN is a wide bandgap semiconductor material which offers significant benefits over traditional Silicon-based semiconductors for power applications. These benefits include greater energy efficiency at higher power, leading to a substantial reduction in parasitic power losses. GaN technology also allows the design of more compact devices for better form factors. Additionally, GaN-based devices switch at speeds as much as 10X faster than Silicon-based devices while operating at higher peak temperatures. These robust and intrinsic material characteristics make GaN ideally suited for broad-based adoption in evolving automotive, industrial, telecom, and specific consumer applications across both the 100V and the 650V clusters.
Specifically, Power GaN and GaN IC technology-based products will enable ST to provide solutions for medium and high-power applications with better efficiency compared to silicon technologies on the same topologies, including automotive converters and chargers for hybrid and electric vehicles. Power GaN and GaN IC technologies will help accelerate the megatrend of the electrification of consumer and commercial vehicles.
“As a leader in both wide bandgap semiconductor technology and in power semiconductors for the demanding automotive and industrial markets, ST sees significant opportunity in accelerating the development and delivery of GaN process technology and bringing power GaN and GaN IC products to the market. TSMC is a trusted foundry partner that can uniquely meet the challenging reliability and roadmap evolution requirements of ST’s target customers,” said Marco Monti, President of STMicroelectronics’ Automotive and Discrete Group. “This cooperation complements our existing activities on power GaN undertaken at our site in Tours, France and with CEA-Leti. GaN represents the next major innovation in Power and Smart Power electronics, as well in process technology.”
“We look forward to collaborating with ST and bring the applications of GaN power-electronics to Industrial and Automotive Power Conversion,” said Dr. Kevin Zhang, Vice President of Business Development at TSMC. “TSMC’s leading GaN manufacturing expertise, combined with ST Microelectronics’ product design and automotive-grade qualification capabilities, will deliver great energy efficiency improvement for industrial and automotive power conversion applications that are more eco-friendly and help accelerate the electrification of vehicles.”
ST expects the delivery of first samples of power GaN discrete devices to its key customers later this year, followed by GaN IC products within a few months.