Investors Back Ancora Semiconductor to Expand GaN Technology
Ancora Semicondutor Inc. receives substantial investment to grow galium-nitride technology development.
Ancora Semiconductor Inc. recently announced the receipt of NT$ 456 million (new Taiwan dollars) in investment from strategic investors and partners uPI Semiconductors (uPI), ROHM Co., Ltd. (ROHM, parent company to ROHM Semiconductor), Delta, and Sino-American Silicon Products Inc. (SAS).
Ancora Semiconductor Inc. (Ancora) is a fabless company focusing on the development and distribution of high-performance gallium nitride (GaN)-based technologies for semiconductor applications.
GaN and Wide Bandgap Capacity
Gallium nitride is a wide bandgap semiconductor material with a crystal-like structure. The material is manufactured by using the process known as metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The process involves the reaction of nitrogen and galium to create the crystal structure.
According to Arrow, GaN has almost three times the bandgap capacity of silicon. The material has higher power efficiency, which means that it requires less energy to create the same amount of electric current. Galium nitride also has a higher breakdown voltage and is more resistant to radiation damage. The higher breakdown voltage provides greater thermal stability at increased temperatures. Galium nitride’s higher breakdown field makes it better suited than silicon to accommodate high-power products with high-voltage circuits.
The properties of GaN make it an important semiconductor material because it can be used in a wide variety of applications, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), solar cells, and transistors.
In a recent news release, the Ancora President Dr. T.K. Shing, detailed the benefits of GaN technology, saying it can provide engineers with lower energy consumption, faster switching frequencies, and improved efficiency.
The machinations behind GaN’s higher switching frequency capability are due to electron mobility. GaN has higher electron mobility than silicon (at 2000 cm2/Vs and 1500 cm2/Vs, respectively), which means the electrons in GaN crystals move 30% faster than silicon. For this reason, engineers may prefer to choose GaN over silicon when crafting radio frequency (RF) components.
Wider Adoption of GaN Technology
The support of Ancora’s parent company, Delta, could not be more important in driving the company’s growth strategy.
The alliance and investment will enable Ancora to form a strong network of partners that can bring expertise in integrated circuit (IC) design, applications and system solutions, and substrate materials to the table. Together, such combined knowledge should facilitate the wider adoption of GaN-based technology.
Ancora will use its partner support network and newly accrued funds to enhance its production capacity to meet the demand for GaN components in applications ranging from automotive and telecom to consumer electronics.
The overarching goal of the alliance is to further improve GaN technology. By furthering gains in energy efficiency, more sustainable development of power electronics devices and components can be achieved.