News | July 26, 2005

Veeco And Picogiga Partner To Advance Gallium Nitride (GaN)-on-Silicon Technology

Woodbury, NY and Les Ulis, France -- Veeco Instruments Inc. and Picogiga International announced that they have entered into a joint development program designed to advance gallium nitride-on-silicon technology to meet emerging market needs. By leveraging Picogiga's leadership in engineered substrates and compound semiconductors, along with Veeco's expertise in molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), the joint effort is expected to speed the volume production of GaN-on-silicon substrates for commercialization into a wide range of high-end wireless applications.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will team to create the first industrial MBE reactor optimized for use on Picogiga's patented GaN-on-silicon process. To speed this endeavor, engineers from Picogiga International will share their expertise in GaN MBE technology with Veeco's MBE system experts. The initial work will take place in Veeco's Process Integration Center in Saint Paul, Minn. Upon completion, the new GEN200 system will be delivered and installed at Picogiga's production facility in Les Ulis, France--enabling the company to produce up to 6-inch GaN-on-silicon epi wafers.

According to Jean-Luc Ledys, chief operating officer of Soitec's Picogiga division, the intent of this agreement is to pave the way for GaN-on-silicon substrates to become a competitive solution for wireless devices such as next-generation high-electron-mobility transistors. "By accelerating the production ramp of high-quality GaN-on-silicon substrates, we can ensure that customers have access to the volume quantities needed to enable their emerging devices for wireless-infrastructure and other high-speed applications."

Dick Wissenbach, Senior Vice President of Veeco Compound Semiconductor, commented, "The opportunity to develop GaN-on-silicon illustrates the strength of Veeco's MBE. Veeco's vast production knowledge of GaN-based devices, the silicon-style production platform of the MBE equipment, and the development and capacity capabilities of the Process Integration Center make this a perfect match." Wissenbach added, "Our Process Integration Center, with its installed base of GEN200 systems and in-house team of MBE experts was designed to afford manufacturers rapid hardware testing, process development and bridge capacity."

In recent years, GaN-on-silicon has shown great promise for RF and microwave components aimed at the wireless industry, particularly for the HEMTs used in high-power RF applications. GaN increases the output power of such devices, while silicon offers better thermal conductivity, lower procurement costs and larger diameter wafers than traditional GaN substrates.

SOURCE: Veeco Instruments