Global Foundries Gets $30 Million in Federal Funding to Develop GaN on Silicon Chips

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gan chips are slowly replacing silicon ones as the power and heat handling technology of choice for EVs, 5G and 6G smartphones, RF wireless gear and other advanced tech. This is because gan chips are much more durable, can survive high temperatures and radiation and are able to operate at higher speeds than silicon.

They are also able to process power faster and are able to be integrated into larger systems than silicon chips. Moreover, they are smaller and lighter and can save up to 20% in system costs.

The GaN semiconductor market is expected to reach $4 billion by 2022. The growing demand for gan chips in 5G multi-chip modules, EVs and robotics are some of the main factors driving the market.

GF will get $30 million in federal funds to develop and produce next-gen gallium nitride on silicon chips at its Vermont fab. This move will help GF lead the charge to develop and manufacture GaN-based chip manufacturing technology for the future.

GlobalFoundries has been a longtime leader in RF semiconductor technology and is positioned to become a leading player in the development and production of advanced GaN on silicon chips with its new scaled GaN manufacturing capabilities at GF’s Essex Junction, Vermont, fab.

This fab will enable GF to scale its 200mm wafer manufacturing capabilities, which is important as the size of GaN-based power ICs increases.

Compared to silicon, GaN-based power ICs are 20x faster switching/low energy loss, up to 3x higher power density and up to 30% lower system cost. These ICs are also 3x smaller and lighter, making them an excellent fit for power supply applications. In addition, they are able to offer autonomous standby power features that automatically reduce power consumption when the ICs are in “idle” mode, further enhancing energy efficiency.

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