Power trends: Dialog enters the GaN market

February 09, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Dialog Semiconductor is preparing to enter the market for gallium nitride (GaN) power devices later this year. Nick Flaherty talked to Joseph Tseng (above, right) and Tomas Marino from Dialog’s emerging business group about the company’s plans.

“We started working on GaN about three years ago,” said Marino. “It’s in the emerging technology group as it’s an up and coming technology – there’s been a lot of adoption that we are starting to see over the years and in 2018 we are going to see a lot more adoption as the GaN process has become more mature. There’s been a lot of yield issues and being able to supply GaN wafers has been a major problem as there is a shortage of Epitaxy capacity but here are now a lot more foundries offing GaN and investing in MOVCD tooling and we see that availability is becoming greater,” he said.

This is what has prompted the company to launch now.

“We expect to start shipping in H2 18,” said Tseng. “The segment we are focusing on first in consumer but you can’t compare that to server or automotive applications where the requirements are higher, so we will get going in the consumer business first.”

“There’s definitely a need to build the economies of scale, and to drive down the cost you need that from travel adaptors for smartphones and tablets as well as notebook PCs, but there are a lot more applications that can drive GaN with higher frequency and higher efficiency,” he said. “There’s opportunities in automotive with the adoption of 48V batteries and lidar [laser drivers] is another opportunity to handle the rapid data of 300,000 to 1m scans per second.”

Next: 6in or 8in