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GALLIUM NITRIDE Cambridge GaN devices secures USD9.5 million in series A funding

Author / Editor: Luke James / Nicole Kareta

Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD), a University of Cambridge fabless semiconductor spinout company that was founded in 2016 in Cambridge’s Department of Engineering, has raised a substantial amount of funding to expand its GaN-based product portfolio and double its staff count.

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GaN-based power devices are able to achieve much higher performance metrics than even the most cutting-edge state-of-the-art silicon-based devices.
GaN-based power devices are able to achieve much higher performance metrics than even the most cutting-edge state-of-the-art silicon-based devices.
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USD9.5 million in investment funds have been raised in a Series A funding round co-led by IQ Capital, Parkwalk Advisors, and BGF. The funding will help the University of Cambridge spinout company continue its work into developing best-in-class GaN-based technologies that the company says will eventually replace silicon.

Revolutionary power devices

CGD is developing a revolutionary technology in power devices, a market that is currently estimated to be worth around USD30 billion. At the core of the company’s business is designing and developing power transistors and integrated circuits that are based on gallium nitride (GaN), a revolutionary energy efficient material that is transforming tech as we know it.

GaN is a mechanically stable wide-bandgap semiconductor which exhibits both a breakdown strength and thermal conductivity, faster switching speeds, and lower ON-resistance in comparison to silicon. This means that GaN-based power devices are able to achieve much higher performance metrics than even the most cutting-edge state-of-the-art silicon-based devices. This enables developers to produce GaN-based devices such as power converters that are much smaller and lighter while producing energy efficiencies above 99 %.

Researchers are able to use several substrates to grow GaN crystals, including silicon carbide (SiC), silicon, and sapphire, which leads to different performance results.

CGD’s cutting-edge GaN technology

CGD is based on decades of research in power devices and GaN reliability, reads a press release published on the University of Cambridge website.

The company is currently developing a range of GaN transistors that will be targeted towards applications within the consumer and industrial Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS), lighting, data centers, and automotive market segments. “This investment will allow us to supplement our experienced team with additional experts and expand our markets globally, creating more sustainable electronics worldwide,” said Dr Giorgia Longobardi, CEO and founder of CGD. The company is confident that the efficient, compact, and simpler nature of its devices will be a driving factor in the eventual replacement of silicon-based technologies within these applications. “We are proud to support the CGD team as they build on their core technology, from a strong base of academic research and IP, to create the world’s best GaN power devices for a wide range of applications,” said Ed Stacey, Managing Partner at IQ Capital.

CGD is also leading a USD10 million European-funded project with 13 industrial and academic partners across Europe. Known as ‘GaNext’, the project is developing GaN-based modules for low and high-power applications.

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