MACOM and STMicroelectronics (ST) Agree to Develop GaN-on-Silicon for MACOM’s RF Applications

MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. of Lowell, Massachusetts USA and STMicroelectronics of Switzerland announced an agreement to develop GaN (Gallium Nitride) on Silicon wafers.
Under the terms of the agreement, ST will produce the GaN-on-Silicon wafers for MACOM’s use across an array of RF applications. While expanding MACOM’s source of supply, the agreement also gives ST the right to manufacture and sell its own GaN-on-Silicon products in RF markets outside of wireless basestation, mobile phone, and related commercial telecom infrastructure applications.

ST to Begin Sample Production in 2018

Through this agreement, MACOM expects to improve cost structure and help potentially displace incumbent Silicon LDMOS. MACOM also intends to accelerate the adoption of GaN on Silicon in mainstream markets. ST and MACOM have been collaborating for several years to bring GaN-on-Silicon production up in ST’s CMOS wafer fab. ST has scheduled the beginning of sample production for 2018.

“This agreement punctuates our long journey of leading the RF industry’s conversion to GaN-on-Silicon technology. To date, MACOM has refined and proven the merits of GaN on Silicon using rather modest compound semiconductor factories, replicating and even exceeding the RF performance and reliability of expensive GaN on SiC alternative technology,” said John Croteau, president and CEO, MACOM. “We expect this collaboration with ST to bring those GaN innovations to bear in a Silicon supply chain that can ultimately service the most demanding customers and applications.”

Marco Monti, president of the Automotive and Discrete Product Group, STMicroelectronics said, “While expanding the opportunities for existing RF applications is appealing, we’re even more excited about using GaN-on-Silicon in new RF Energy applications, especially in automotive applications, such as plasma ignition for more efficient combustion in conventional engines, and in RF lighting applications, for more efficient and longer-lasting lighting systems.”