M/A-COM Technology Solutions announces an IP licensing program for Gallium Nitride (GaN) on Silicon technology. The company has recently highlighted two areas critical to achieving the goal of enabling the mainstream adoption of GaN as a large-scale RF semiconductor technology across the industry.
As a first step, MACOM announced a license and epitaxial (epi) wafer supply agreement which will enable IQE, the world’s largest supplier of compound semiconductor epi, to manufacture GaN-on-Silicon epi at 4, 6 and 8" diameters in high volume for RF applications. This move is expected to allow the company to deliver GaN RF products with breakthrough bandwidth and efficiency at mainstream 8" silicon cost structures.
MACOM also announced that it is in active discussions to make GaN-on-Silicon technology available to select companies for use in RF applications. They believe that establishing such large diameter wafer manufacturing sources will be a key factor in driving mainstream, commercial adoption of GaN technology. Surety of supply is of critical importance in power amplifier dependent markets such as cellular basestations. According to Strategy Analytics, power amplifier transistor revenue from base stations will grow to more than $1bn (USD) in 2014.
John Croteau, President and CEO, MACOM, comments: "We are nearing a watershed moment for the RF & Microwave industry, promising breakthrough performance for compound semiconductors and leveraging large-scale silicon production facilities that operate at orders of magnitude greater economies of scale. We believe our recent acquisition of Nitronex and its portfolio of fundamental IP rights related to GaN-on-Silicon materials, process, and device technology for RF applications provides us with the foundation for a licensing program that will help bring our vision of GaN performance at mainstream 8" silicon cost structures a reality.”