Electronic Products & Technology

5N Plus commercializes its GaN-on-Si patents

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics Power Supply / Management Semiconductors 5N Plus GaN-on-Si Montreal patents power semiconductor

Montreal-based semi player launches rights for its portfolio of gallium-nitride-on-silicon technology

Montreal-based producer of specialty semiconductors 5N Plus Inc. has officially launched the commercialization rights for its portfolio of gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) patents – aiming to take semiconductors and power switching technology to the “next level”. These key patents can enable the rapid prototype development and first-to-market commercialization of novel vertical GaN-on-Si power devices by companies operating in the high-power electronics (HPE), electric vehicles (EV) and artificial intelligence (AI) server sectors.

First-to-market vertical GaN-on-Si devices

A mechanically stable, wide-bandgap semiconductor material with high heat capacity and thermal conductivity, GaN has outstanding properties. Today, lateral GaN is primarily used in low voltage (<400V) applications, such as chargers, but novel vertical GaN-on-Si has the potential to replace silicon carbide (SiC), which is the current preferred material for medium and high voltage applications (i.e. EV inverters operating 650V). SiC is expensive and not easily available, whereas GaN-on-Si is more efficient and cost-effective. Recent academic demonstrations utilizing key 5N+ patents have shown that vertical GaN-on-Si, as opposed to lateral GaN transistors showing destructive breakdown, offers soft breakdown with avalanche capability for safe, compact and more efficient devices.

“Our 54 patents have now been shown to be more high-performing and efficient than the current alternative through recent academic demonstrations. As such, our portfolio of patents is uniquely positioned to enable industry-leading HPE and EV companies to rapidly develop and commercialize first-to-market vertical GaN-on-Si power devices that will revolutionize high-voltage semiconductor applications,” said Gervais Jacques, president and CEO of 5N+.


5N+ Gan-on-Si patent portfolio

The commercial rights of the 54 granted patents owned by 5N+ include mandatory use of large diameter thick silicon substrates (over 1mm), combined with masking layers to filter the dislocations. Increasing the thickness of large diameter silicon substrates in vertical GaN-on-Si devices enables increased voltage capacity without increasing the chip size. Also included in this patent is the ability to remove the substrate to form the backside contacts once the GaN growth is complete. In addition, the Company holds lateral GaN-on-Si patents for radiofrequency (RF) applications that will enable next generation 5G and 6G wireless communication components. 5N+ holds these patents through its wholly owned subsidiary AZUR SPACE Solar Power GmbH, a leader in multi-junction solar cell technology.

Headquartered in Montréal, Quebec, 5N+ operates R&D, manufacturing and commercial centres in strategically located facilities around the world including Europe, North America and Asia.



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