GT Advanced Technologies of Nashua, New Hampshire, and Soitec of Bernin,
France announced a development and licensing agreement. The agreement will
allowing GT to develop, manufacture and commercialize a high-volume,
multi-wafer HVPE system to produce GaN epi layers on substrates used in LEDs
and other industries such as power electronics. GT expects that the higher
growth rates and improved material from the HVPE system will significantly
reduce process costs and boost device performance compared with the traditional MOCVD process. Under the terms of the agreement, initial pre-payment of the licensing fees is underway, but further specific terms were not disclosed.
GT will offer an HVPE system that incorporates Soitec Phoenix Labs’ (a
subsidiary of Soitec) HVPE technology including its source delivery system that
reportedly lowers the costs of precursors delivered to the HVPE reactor. The
system will enable production of GaN template sapphire substrates at scale. The
target date for the commercial availability of the HVPE system is the second
half of 2014.
“We have been working for more than 6 years on GaN epi processes
and have created this breakthrough HVPE technology critical in producing
high-quality and low cost GaN layers on sapphire substrates,” said
Chantal Arena, VP and general manager of Soitec Phoenix Labs.
Tom Gutierrez, GT’s president and CEO, commented, “When
commercially available, we believe the new HVPE system will be a key element to
further reduce LED device costs and help propel the industry to greater levels
of competitiveness and growth.”