Transphorm signs with U.S. Office of Naval Research to make GaN epiwafers

August 5, 2019 Alix Paultre

Transphorm announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Naval Research (ONR) has exercised a three-year $15.9 million option on an existing $2.6 million base contract that establishes Transphorm as a U.S.-based dedicated production source and supplier of GaN epiwafers for DoD and Commercial radio frequency (RF)/millimeter wave (mm-wave) and power electronics applications. The award comprises a Base Program for key technology development and an Option Program to establish production scale capability.

The program's core objective is to commercialize Nitrogen polar (N-polar) GaN, a novel technology that holds significant promise for the continued advancement of GaN-based electronics, in today's RF electronics and future power conversion systems. The technology was invented under ONR and DARPA sponsorship at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) by the team of Professor Umesh Mishra, Distinguished Professor at UCSB and Transphorm's Co-founder, CTO and Chairman.

"The N-polar orientation of the material is reversed from the traditional Ga-polar GaN currently being widely used in base station and DoD applications. The flip produces radical benefits in output power, along with groundbreaking efficiencies to frequencies as high as 94 GHz," said Dr. Mishra. "Applications span the frequency range of interest for 5G, 6G and beyond, and also fill a critical technological void for DoD systems."

"We are excited to partner with the ONR and DoD to commercialize our high performance GaN HEMT IP and epitaxy capability, specifically via the breakthrough N-polar and Ga-polar materials on various substrates, including Silicon Carbide, Sapphire, and Silicon," said Primit Parikh, Co-founder and COO, Transphorm. "This enables Transphorm to grow an adjacent vertical, that of epiwafer sales for DoD customers and fast-growing RF/5G markets. We are already seeing demand and are excited to go from purchase to production in less than 36 months, a key program goal."

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