By Cameron Chai
LRM, Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Capricorn Cleantech Fund have together invested an amount of € 4 million in EpiGaN, a spin-off company of imec, to commence bulk manufacture of GaN on-silicon wafers.
EpiGaN has declared that it has completed € 4 million of the invested initial capital, to enable commencement of volume manufacture of GaN-on-Si epitaxial material for advanced and efficient power electronics.
For over 10 years, the founders of EpiGaN collaborated to develop advanced GaN-on-Si technology on 4” as well as 6” wafers at imec. EpiGaN has received a part of the license for the advanced GaN-on-Si technology. A consortium of investors have joined hands with the founders of EpiGaN to utilize the GaN-on-Si technology for improving efficiency of power management, utilizing renewable energy sources, or allowing clean technologies for transportation with decreased effect on environmental impact.
CEO of EpiGaN, Dr Marianne Germain, stated that EpiGaN has shown the ability of its novel material to monitor the performance of equipment operating either at high currents, high voltage or high frequency. He added that EpiGaN can deliver the high-quality material in huge commercial volumes to industrial clients.
Marc Lambrechts, who will be a part of the board of EpiGaN,on behalf of Capricorn Cleantech Fund stated that power conversion is vital for several cleantech applications including solar inverters, energy-efficient power supplies, electric or hybrid vehicles, wind energy and smart grids. He added that EpiGaN clients will enjoy advantages of GaN-on-silicon technology such as increased consistency, higher efficiency, and decreased system weight and size.
EpiGaN will soon establish its own production capacity and expand its market supply with investors support. 4” and 6” GaN-on-Si wafers utilized for RF or high voltage applications are offered by EpiGaN, while it is still developing a 200 mm wafer technology. EpiGaN will carry out its activities at the Research Campus Hasselt in Limburg. Stijn Bijnens, CEO of LRM, stated that EpiGaN will help develop high-tech solutions for the renewable energy sector, an area that Limburg wishes to expand.
President and CEO of imec, Luc Van den Hove, stated that imec has developed Si substrates using GaN technology, for its cost effectiveness. He added that this long-term research project will lead to the generation of a high-potential spin-off, thus launching imec technology into the market.