Renesas Widens Power Lineup in Transphorm Buyout

Renesas Electronics Corporation has entered an agreement with Transphorm, Inc. a global leader in robust gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors. Particularly, the agreement will pave the way for a Renesas subsidiary to acquire all outstanding shares of Transphorm’s common stock for US$5.10 per share.

The transaction values Transphorm at approximately US$339 million. The acquisition will provide Renesas with in-house GaN technology, a key next-generation material for power semiconductors. Thus, expanding its reach into fast-growing markets such as EVs, computing (data centers, AI, infrastructure), renewable energy, industrial power conversion and fast chargers/adapters.

Demand for highly efficient power systems is increasing as building blocks for carbon neutrality. To address this trend, an industry-wide transition toward wide bandgap (WBG) materials, represented by silicon carbide (SiC) and GaN, is also being seen. These advanced materials allow a broader range of voltage and switching frequency than conventional silicon-based devices. To build on this momentum, Renesas has established an in-house SiC production line, supported by a 10-year SiC wafer supply agreement.

Transphorm CEO Dr. Primit Parikh and Renesas CEO Hidetoshi Shibata (Photo: Business Wire)

Taps GaN Expertise

Renesas now aims to further expand its WBG portfolio with Transphorm’s expertise in GaN. In fact, GaN is an emerging material that enables higher switching frequency, lower power losses, and smaller form factors.

These benefits empower customers’ systems with greater efficiency, smaller and lighter composition, and lower overall cost. As such, demand for GaN will likely grow by more than 50 percent annually. In addition, Renesas will implement Transphorm’s auto-qualified GaN technology to develop new enhanced power solution offerings. This includes X-in-1 powertrain solutions for EVs, along with computing, energy, industrial and consumer applications.

“Transphorm is a company uniquely led by a seasoned team rooted in GaN power and with origins from the University of California at Santa Barbara,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, CEO of Renesas.

In addition, Shibata said, “The addition of Transphorm’s GaN technology builds on our momentum in IGBT and SiC. It will fuel and expand our power portfolio as a key pillar of growth, offering our customers the full ability to choose their optimal power solutions.”

“This transaction will also allow us to offer further expanded services to our customers and deliver significant immediate cash value to our stockholders,” said Dr. Primit Parikh, Co-founder, President and CEO of Transphorm and Dr. Umesh Mishra, Co-founder and CTO of Transphorm.

“Additionally, it will provide a strong platform for our exceptional team to further Transphorm’s leading GaN technology and products.”