UKRI supports the Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd (CSC) and Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) to develop a 200mm Gallium Nitride HEMT foundry process 

The project is a co-ordinated effort by CSC and NWF to deliver a foundry grade 650V GaN-on-Silicon HEMT process on a 200mm wafer platform. The HEMT fabrication process technology will leverage 30 years of Silicon Power device manufacturing heritage at Newport Wafer Fab, developed under an automotive (IATF 16949) quality accredited volume manufacturing environment. The epitaxial solution will leverage IP developed by CSC in partnership with its parent company IQE, on a high volume Aixtron G5 200mm manufacturing platform at its Cardiff, UK facility. CSC recently achieved full ISO9001 accreditation of its internal Quality Management System covering development through to volume scale up. The project is supported by UKRI under the ‘Automotive Transformation Fund: moving the UK automotive sector to zero emissions’.  

Newport Wafer Fab aerial photo

Sam Evans, NWFs Director of External affairs, commented ‘This is an exciting step towards NWFs vision of becoming a major manufacturer of Compound-on-Silicon products. We see the Wide Bandgap Power device market as an excellent area to address in our plans to expand our current manufacturing footprint of 8,000 wafer starts per week to 14,000, and it’s a natural opportunity for us to pursue given our heritage in high power Silicon MOSFET, IGBT and GaN device development manufacturing’

Rob Harper, GaN programme manager at CSC added ‘The GaN Power market is estimated to be USD$700M by 2025 with massive future growth opportunity for EV adoption, and we are collaborating with a global power semiconductor blue-chip to help steer the process roadmap. We are initially targeting the EV segment of  the market including traction inverters; as the project progresses we hope to role out custom foundry offerings that address additional market segments including mobile/laptop fast chargers and energy storage inverters’

MOCVD reactor

Wyn Meredith, Director of the CSC commented ’This is an excellent example of two partners in the South Wales semiconductor ecosystem building on their respective technology and manufacturing strengths to offer advanced, next generation foundry services to the global semiconductor industry’   

About the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC)

The Compound Semiconductor Centre was founded in 2015 as a Joint Venture between Cardiff University and IQE Plc, with the mission of accelerating commercialisation of Compound Semiconductor Materials and Device Research and realising a tangible economic return on the UK investment in this key area of enabling technology. Based in Cardiff, the Centre is a vital milestone towards developing a World-class Compound Semiconductor Technology cluster in South Wales.

About Newport Wafer Fab (NWF)

Newport Wafer Fab is the World’s first integrated Silicon and Silicon-on-Compound Semiconductor Foundry, and the UK’s largest semiconductor manufacturing plant, employing ~ 450 technical and manufacturing staff. The site has over 30 years of experience of fabricating world class, high end semiconductor devices ranging from Silicon Power devices to Compound Semiconductor Photonic Integrated Circuits.