Compared to conventional silicon-based power devices, GaN-based power devices feature characteristics such as lower on-resistance and the ability to perform high-frequency operations. These characteristics are expected to contribute to improvements in the conversion efficiency of power supply units and make them more compact. Fujitsu Semiconductor is aiming to commercialize GaN power devices on a silicon substrate, which, with increases in the diameters of silicon wafers, enables low-cost production. Towards that aim, Fujitsu Semiconductor has been developing technology for volume production since 2009. In addition, Fthe company has provided specific power supply-related partners with sample GaN power devices since 2011 and has worked on optimizing them for use in power supply units.
Recently, in a collaborative effort together with Fujitsu Laboratories Limited, Fujitsu Semiconductor has been engaging in technical development initiatives, such as developing a process technology for growing high quality GaN crystals on a silicon substrate, developing device technologies, such as optimizing the design of electrodes to control the rise of on-resistance during switching, and devising a circuit layout for power supply units that can support the high-speed switching of GaN-based devices. These results have enabled Fujitsu Semiconductor, in a test circuit using a GaN power device, to succeed in achieving conversion efficiency that exceeds the performance of conventional silicon devices. Fujitsu Semiconductor also prototyped a power supply unit for servers equipped with a GaN power device for the power factor correction circuit and successfully achieved output power of 2.5kW.
Fujitsu Semiconductor views its success in these results as opening a path to high-voltage, large-current applications for its GaN power devices. The company has recently completed setting up a mass-production line for 6-inch wafers at its Aizu-Wakamatsu plant, and will begin full-scale production of GaN power devices in second half of 2013.
The Japanese company will exhibit its GaN power device at Embedded Technology 2012, which will be held at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center November 14-16, 2012.