Soitec and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. have reached a major milestone in their strategic joint development program started in December 2010 by demonstrating four- and six-inch engineered gallium nitride (GaN) substrates and launching pilot production lines to enable wider market adoption. These substrates - produced by transferring ultra-thin high quality GaN layers from a single GaN wafer to produce multiple engineered GaN substrates – are well suited for manufacturing advanced high-brightness light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for the lighting market and power-efficient controllers for the electric vehicles and energy markets.
Leveraging Sumitomo Electric’s manufacturing technology for GaN wafers and Soitec’s proven Smart Cut™ layer-transfer technology, this strategic alliance project had originally produced two-inch wafers. With the successful demonstration of GaN wafers’ scalability, the partner companies are now proceeding with the next step to invest and establish pilot production lines in Itami, Japan, and Bernin, France. The pilot lines will initially fabricate four-inch wafers with six-inch wafer production to quickly follow to support customers demand.