BMW invests in GaN Systems

July 19, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
BMW invests in GaN Systems
GaN Systems Inc. (Ottawa, Ontario), a supplier of power diodes and transistors, has closed a round of investment led by BMW’s investment arm, BMW i Ventures.

The size of the investment was not disclosed but the group of investors putting up the money includes GaN Systems' existing investors including BDC Capital, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, RockPort Capital and Tsing Capital.

The money will be used to expand global sales and accelerate new product development, GaN Systems said. GaN Systems has pioneered the eponymous material while some other manufacturers have focused on silicon-carbide (SiC). GaN Systems, founded in 2008, raised $20 million in Series C round of investment in May 2015.

"Gallium nitride based transistors have become, in my opinion, the next big stepping stone in miniaturization. We have seen systems one quarter of the size while providing better efficiency than traditional silicon-based alternatives. With gallium nitride, any system that needs power can become smaller, lighter and more efficient. These capabilities are particularly relevant in the automotive sector," stated Uwe Higgen, managing director, BMW i Ventures, in a statement issued by GaN Systems.

Higgen added: "With autonomous cars, there will be the need to massively scale the data center infrastructure. Data center power consumption is one of the biggest cost drivers, and increasing the efficiency of power conversion will account for billions of dollars in cost savings and enable a more sustainable infrastructure around the globe."

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