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Double boost for European power design

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Two Asian companies have opened design and R&D centres in Europe with a focus on wideband semiconductor power devices

Toshiba is opening a power R&D centre in Germany for SiC and GaN, while Chinese foundry Innoscience is  opening a design centre in Belgium for its GaN-on-Silicon power devices.

The Toshiba high-voltage laboratory will be an integral part of Toshiba support and service activities for local European customers for power devices and solutions, specifically wide bandgap SiC and GaN technologies. Paired with engineering capabilities, for example, simulations of key power topologies and the design of reference models for power supply (i.e., PFC), inverter and EV charging applications customers can call on local support to optimise their systems related to efficiency and power density.

“The decision to invest comes as a result of recent growth we have seen through an increase in the diversity of applications our products are specified and application-related questions from customers. The new high-voltage lab will allow these to be addressed more rapidly in the customer’s own time zone and language,” said Armin Derpmanns, General manager, Semiconductor Marketing & Operations, Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH.

The high-power facilities are compliant with German regulations such as VDE0100 and will have the capability to test and measure up to 1500V DC and 1000V AC.

Power foundry Innoscience has a dedicated 8-inch GaN-on-Si fab in China and is opening a design centre in Leuven, Belgium.

Backed by investment from UK processor developer ARM as well as battery makers SK and CATL, the company is the largest Integrated Device Manufacture (IDM) that is fully focused on GaN technology with a capacity of 10,000 8-inch wafers per month which will ramp up to 14,000 8-inch wafers per month later this year and 70,000 8-inch wafers per month by 2025.

Innoscience produces high-performance, normally-off e-mode GaN FETs. By introducing a stress enhancement layer, the company has significantly reduced RDS(on) without affecting other parameters including threshold voltage and leakage. Both epitaxy as well as device processing have been optimized to obtain high reproducibility and yield. Parts have passed quality and reliability tests in excess of JEDEC standards.

The company has a wide portfolio of devices from 30V to 650V and has shipped more than 35 million parts for use in applications including USB PD chargers/adapters, data centres, mobile phones and LED drivers.

“The time is right for GaN, and Innoscience is ready to supply the world. We will surpass anyone on price for an equivalent device and our huge manufacturing capacity means that our customers are assured of security of supply, which is often uppermost in people’s minds given the shortage of chips at the moment. We look forward to working with any company in order to proliferate GaN throughout the global electronics industry,” said Dr. Denis Marcon, General Manager, Innoscience Europe.

www.toshiba.semicon-storage.com; www.innoscience.com

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