SDK to Form JV with Toyoda Gosei for GaN LED Business
LIGHTimes News Staff
April 30, 2012...Japanese company, Showa Denko K. K. (SDK) reports that it plans to form a joint venture with Toyoda Gosei for the production and sale of GaN LEDs.
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has decided to split its business in gallium-nitride (GaN)-based blue LED chips, and transfer 70% of shares in the new company to Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. (Toyoda Gosei), by the end of this year. The joint venture will be established in the area of GaN LED chips being produced at SDK’s plant in Chiba Prefecture.
SDK produces and sells a wide variety of LED chips, including aluminum-gallium-indium-phosphide (AlGaInP), gallium-arsenide (GaAs), gallium-phosphide (GaP) in addition to GaN. SDK says it is already cooperating with Toyoda Gosei, a maker and developer of GaN LEDs. SDK says that By establishing a joint venture with Toyoda Gosei for the GaN LED business, SDK will expand overall supply capacity. SDK indicated that that it hopes the cooperation will synergistically effect it R&D in improving brightness and production efficiency. SDK will reportedly continue its independent operations making LEDs with materials other than GaN. The joint venture is tentatively called TS Opto Co., Ltd.
April 30, 2012...Amalfi Semiconductor of Los Gatos, California, USA, a maker of power amplifier solutions for cellular handsets, reports that it has raised an additional $20 million from existing investors Battery Ventures, DCM and Globespan Capital Partners. Amalfi plans to use the funds to expand its business operations and accelerate new product development programs of its next-generation CMOS power amplifier technologies. The company also announced that it has shipped over 75 million transmit modules.
In August 2011, Amalfi launched its second-generation AdaptiveRF™ architecture, designed to deliver industry-leading performance at significantly reduced costs compared to traditional GaAs-based modules.
Mark Foley, CEO and President at Amalfi stated, “We’ve had a tremendous year and a dramatic ramp up in the adoption of our products. As we grow rapidly, this additional funding accelerates our next phase of product development, while allowing us to guarantee exceptional customer service.”
“We have clearly been able to demonstrate the benefits of our CMOS technology at the 2G level,” added Foley. “We will further drive these price and performance benefits for feature and entry-level smartphones while introducing new advanced products that apply these same CMOS integration benefits to 3G and LTE mobile phones and data terminals.”
RF Micro Devices Unveils rGaN-HV(TM) Process Technology for Power Device Products and Foundry Customers
April 30, 2012...RF Micro Devices, Inc, of Greensboro, North Carolina USA announced that its GaN process now includes a new technology for high voltage power devices in power conversion applications. According to RFMD, its rGaN-HV™ enables substantial system cost and energy savings in power conversion applications ranging from 1 to 50 KW. RFMD asserts that rGaN-HV delivers device breakdown voltages up to 900 volts, high peak current capability, and ultra-fast switching times for GaN power switches and diodes.
The new technology complements RFMD's GaN 1 process, which is optimized for high power RF applications and delivers high breakdown voltage over 400 volts, and RFMD's GaN 2 process, which is optimized for high linearity applications and delivers high breakdown voltage over 300 volts. RFMD says it will manufacture discrete power device components for customers in its Greensboro, NC, wafer fabrication facility (fab) and provide access to rGaN-HV to foundry customers for their customized power device solutions.
Bob Bruggeworth, President and Chief Executive Officer of RFMD, said, "We expect our newest GaN power process will expand our opportunities in the high-voltage power semiconductor market, and we are pleased to provide access to rGaN-HV to our external foundry customers to support their success in the high-performance power device market."
Berkeley Researchers Improve Solar Cell Efficiency By Making it Emit More Light
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 23, 2012...Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have suggested that solar cells should be more like LEDs. The researchers claim to have demonstrated that solar cells should be designed to emit light as well as absorb it to maximize efficiency. The research team from Bereley will present its findings at the Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO: 2012), to be held May 6-11 in San Jose, Calif.
“What we demonstrated is that the better a solar cell is at emitting photons, the higher its voltage and the greater the efficiency it can produce,” says Eli Yablonovitch, principal researcher and UC Berkeley electrical engineering professor.
The researchers came across a thermodynamic link between absorption and emission of light. “If you have a solar cell that is a good emitter of light, it also makes it produce a higher voltage,” which in turn increases the amount of electrical energy that can be harvested from the cell for each unit of sunlight, graduate student Owen Miller asserted.
In 2011, Alta Devices of the Bay Area, which Yablonovitch co-founded, created a GaAs-based prototype solar cell that achieved a record 28.3 percent efficiency in part by allowing more light to escape. They increased the reflectivity of the rear mirror, which sends incoming photons back out through the front of the device. Yablonovitch says he hopes researchers will be able to use this technique to achieve efficiencies close to 30 percent in the coming years for single junction cells and help improve all solar cells.
Sensor Electronic Technology Inc. Achieves 10 percent Efficiency for UVC LED
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 23, 2012...Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc (SETi) of Columbia, South Carolina USA, announced record efficiencies of UV LEDs operating in the germicidal UV-C range of 11% external quantum efficiency (EQE) with a corresponding wall-plug efficiency (WPE) of 8%. This was achieved under the DARPA Compact Mid-Ultraviolet Technology (CMUVT) program in collaboration with Army Research Laboratories (ARL).
The company notes that this is more than 5X improvement in performance. The company attributes this improvement primarily to improved light extraction from encapsulated LED chips with a novel transparent p-region and a reflective contact and reductions in defect density in the LED structure on a sapphire substrate.
SETi points out that traditionally, UV LEDs are manufactured with GaN p-layers, due to the difficulties of p-doping AlGaN materials. However, GaN absorbs wavelengths shorter than 365nm, thereby reducing the extraction efficiency of short wavelength UV LEDs. SETi says it has developed a new p- type region using doped AlGaN, which is transparent in the UVC range. The company says that this along with a transparent p-contact significantly increases extraction efficiencies.
SETi reduced dislocation densities in quantum well structures with further development of its MEMOCVD® growth process on sapphire. SETi demonstrated threading dislocation densities (TDD) of less than 2x108 (measured by TEM) which the company claims led to internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of 60%. The encapsulated LEDs measuring 350um x 350um, emit at 278nm. They emitted 9.8mW at 20mA (the highest ever reported for Short wavelength UV) and 30mW at 100mA.
Veeco Invests in R&D Facility in Seoul and Lasertel Inc. Buys Veeco MBE System
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 23, 2012...Veeco Instruments has invested in a new research and development facility in Seoul, Korea to advance high brightness LED technology. The company recently participated in an investment forum signing ceremony at the 2012 Korea Investment Forum in New York City to commemorate the company’s substantial investment in the new R&D facility. The Investment Forum event, jointly sponsored by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Korea Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), brought together government officials, investors, industry experts and business leaders from South Korea and the United States to celebrate and promote investment in South Korea by U.S.-based companies.
In other Veeco news, the company reported that Lasertel, Inc. of Tucson, Arizona USA a subsidiary of Selex Galileo Inc., a Finmeccanica company, purchased a second high-throughput, multi-wafer GEN200(R) Edge(TM) Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) production system to increase its laser diode manufacturing capacity. This brings their in-house complement of MBE tools to four. The latest will reportedly be used to accelerate the development of next-generation, high performance diode laser products. The expansion is planned to be completed by Q4, 2012.
"The additional GEN200 Edge production MBE system provides the extra capacity required to support the increased demand for Lasertel devices. The GEN200 system offers advanced automation, precise process control, and in-situ process monitoring. It is the core enabling technology for Lasertel's leading-edge, high performance semiconductor diode laser devices," says Mark McElhinney, President of Lasertel.
TriQuint to Jointly Develop GaN MMICs with U.S. Army Research Laboratory
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 16, 2012...TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon USA announced that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to develop gallium nitride (GaN)-based ICs. The CRADA to explore and fabricate high frequency and mixed signal circuits is reportedly aims to accelerate new programs for communications, radar, electronic warfare, and similar applications.
TriQuint's new agreement with the ARL is designed to stimulate high performance monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) development. The ARL's design and testing capabilities will be leveraged with TriQuint's MMIC fabrication, testing and packaging expertise. The new agreement leverages technology TriQuint created through on-going R&D programs. According to TriQuint, the circuits created are expected to be based on the company's new E/D (enhancement-depletion mode) GaN technology.
"Creative partnerships through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements encourage outside businesses and university organizations to share in the discovery of and investment in technologies. In this case, ARL is leveraging industrial fabrication capabilities allowing ARL to maximize its return on investment," said John Miller, Army Research Laboratory Director. "These advanced IC processes, coupled with ARL's design expertise, could lead to innovations and advancements in both military and consumer applications in communications, radar and electronic warfare."
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