Leti and Exagan partnership targets faster GaN-on-Silicon technology integration roadmap for power-electronics industry

New european source of Gallium Nitride-based power switches designed to speed adoption of more efficient production and electrical conversion systems to reduce CO2 emissions.

GRENOBLE, France – May 12, 2015 – CEA-Leti and Exagan today announced a strategic partnership to develop and industrialize new large-scale GaN-on-silicon power-switching technology to accelerate the power-electronics industry’s transition to smaller and more efficient electrical converters.

Spun off by Leti and Soitec in 2014, Exagan is combining advanced material technology and innovative GaN device designs and processes licensed from its parent companies to produce high-voltage GaN power switches with dramatically higher performance and efficiency than existing switches.
The company’s unique 200mm technology leverages Leti’s extensive resources to accelerate the roadmap on GaN material and devices, and deliver competitive products to the solar, automotive, IT electronic converters and other markets.
Electrical converter design and manufacturing increasingly are being driven by the need for greater efficiency and cost reduction through power integration, which requires low electrical losses and high-frequency operation. Today’s silicon power devices are limited by their intrinsic properties to deliver the necessary efficiency and cost improvements.
The material properties of GaN devices, meanwhile, offer promising power-integration and efficiency gains that deliver higher power density and switching speed at the device level. This potential is creating strong interest among electrical-converter manufacturers and their semiconductor suppliers.

“Exagan’s GaN-on-silicon technology provides significant advantages in achieving the performance and reliability roadmap that will lead to GaN’s widespread adoption for electrical converters,” said Frédéric Dupont, Exagan CEO and co-founder. “Leti’s strategic investment in GaN technology has produced the expertise, process and ecosystem that enabled us to build our first G-FETTM 650 V platform. This alliance gives us access to Leti’s extensive technology portfolio and 200 mm infrastructure that will be coupled in the future to a robust industrial supply chain to serve our customers.”

The partnership will first focus on developing products based on the G-FETTM 650 V platform that exhibit unprecedented power-switching performance with extremely low conduction losses. The resulting products will range from a few to tens of amperes and will enable very high power integration and efficiency levels in electrical converters, meeting customer requirements in a wide range of applications.

“Leti has invested for many years in GaN technologies as we expect it will drive many innovations in the whole power-electronics industry, and accelerate sustainable-energy development and usage,” said Leti CEO Marie-Noëlle Semeria. “We are very excited about the prospects for Exagan, a European source of new GaN power switches for our key industrial partners in the field of transportation and energy, as well as broader markets. Through this partnership, Leti will accelerate its investment to further develop our leading expertise in GaN technology and related systems and applications.”

To help achieve its aggressive goals, the collaboration uses Leti’s 200mm line to deliver the most competitive high-voltage and low-cost platform, and establish a robust manufacturing process by leveraging standard silicon technologies.

Exagan executives will be available to discuss their innovative G-FET platforms at PCIM Europe 2015, May 19-21, in Nuremberg, Germany, booth 9-133.

About CEA-Leti (France)

By creating innovation and transferring it to industry, Leti is the bridge between basic research and production of micro- and nanotechnologies that improve the lives of people around the world. Backed by its portfolio of 2,200 patents, Leti partners with large industrials, SMEs and startups to tailor advanced solutions that strengthen their competitive positions. It has launched more than 50 startups. Its 8,000m² of new-generation cleanroom space feature 200mm and 300mm wafer processing of micro and nano solutions for applications ranging from space to smart devices. Leti’s staff of more than 1,700 includes 200 assignees from partner companies. Leti is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Tokyo. Follow us on www.leti.fr and @CEA_Leti.

About Exagan

Exagan was created in 2014 with support from CEA-Leti and Soitec to accelerate the power-electronics industry’s transition from silicon-based technology to smaller and more efficient electrical converters based on GaN-on-silicon technology. Its GaN power switches are designed for full compatibility with standard 200mm silicon foundries to deliver high-performance, high-reliability products through a robust supply chain. The company’s G-FET platforms offer very high power-switching performance with extremely low conduction losses, enabling unprecedented power integration and efficiency levels in solar, automotive and IT electronics converters.

Exagan in based in Grenoble, France. Visit www.exagan.com.


Leti Agency
Sarah-Lyle Dampoux
+33 6 74 93 23 47

Frédéric Dupont, CEO
+33 6 80 89 61 99