TSMC and STMicroelectronics have a strong combination, what’s so good about gallium nitride?

In this partnership, STMicroelectronics will use TSMC’s gallium nitride fabrication technology to produce its innovative and strategic gallium nitride products. STMicroelectronics expects to deliver the first samples of power GaN discrete components to its major customers later in 2020, with GaN integrated circuit products in the following months.

Gallium nitride is a wide-gap semiconductor material. Compared to traditional silicon-based semiconductors, gallium nitride can provide significant advantages to support power applications. These advantages include greater energy-saving benefits at higher power, so that Parasitic power consumption is greatly reduced; GaN technology also allows for the design of more compact components to support a smaller form factor.

In addition, GaN devices can switch up to 10 times faster than silicon-silicon devices and can operate at higher maximum temperatures. These strong material properties make GaN widely suitable for 100V and 650V devices. A growing range of automotive, industrial, telecommunications, and specific consumer electronics applications in both voltage categories.

TSMC pointed out that compared with silicon technology, power GaN and GaN integrated circuit products have better benefits on the same process, which can help STMicroelectronics provide solutions for mid-power and high-power applications, including Converters and chargers for hybrid vehicles. Power GaN and GaN integrated circuit technologies will help accelerate the megatrend towards electrification of consumer and commercial vehicles.

Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy general manager of TSMC’s business development, said that TSMC looks forward to working with STMicroelectronics to bring the application of gallium nitride power electronics into industrial and automotive power conversion. TSMC’s leading GaN manufacturing expertise combined with STMicroelectronics’ product design and automotive-grade verification capabilities will greatly improve energy-saving benefits, support industrial and automotive power conversion applications, make them more environmentally friendly, and help accelerate vehicle electrification.

Marco Monti, president of ST’s Automotive Products and Discretes Division, said that as a leader in wide-bandgap semiconductor technology and power semiconductors in the highly demanding automotive and industrial markets, ST’s accelerated development of gallium nitride process technology and Delivery saw a huge business opportunity to bring power GaN and GaN integrated circuit products into the market. TSMC is a trusted professional integrated circuit manufacturing service partner that meets the unique requirements of ST’s target customers for challenging reliability and roadmap evolution.

This collaboration complements our existing power gallium nitride activities in the Tours region of France and with the Laboratory for Electronics and Information Technology (CEA-Leti). Gallium nitride represents the next big innovation in power, smart power electronics, and process technology.

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