SK keyfoundry to Dive Deep in GaN Power ICs

SK keyfoundry, an 8-inch pure-play foundry in Korea, has secured key device characteristics for gallium nitride (GaN. The company is intensifying its development efforts of GaN as a next-generation power semiconductor and striving to complete it within the year.

Furthermore, SK keyfoundry has maintained a steadfast focus on the marketability and potential of GaN power semiconductors. To this end, the company formed a dedicated team in 2022 to drive the GaN process development.

Recently, the company has secured new device characteristics of 650V GaN HEMT. It targets to finalize the development by the end of the year.

SK Keyfoundry

High Power Efficiency

As 650V GaN HEMTs have high power efficiency, they reduce the cost of heat sinks compared to silicon-based products. This results in a less significant difference in price for end customers’ systems compared to silicon-based products. Moreover, the company expects that the silicon-based 650V product will provide fabless customers in various markets. Among them are fast charging adapters, LED lighting, data centers and ESS, and solar microinverters with an advantage in developing premium products.

In addition to securing new customers, SK keyfoundry plans to actively promote its 650V GaN HEMTs to existing power semiconductor process-using customers who have expressed their interest in the technology.

Next-Generation Power Semiconductor

Mainly, GaN has been referred as the next generation of power semiconductors. Primarily, it is attributed to its high-speed switching and low ON resistance characteristics. Accordingly, they enable lower loss, higher efficiency, and miniaturization than silicon-based semiconductors.

The GaN power semiconductor market willl grow at a CAGR of 33% from $500 million in 2023 to $6.4 billion in 2032. This is according to a market research firm OMDIA. Primarily, it will find use in power supplies, hybrid and electric vehicles, and solar power inverters.

Based on the 650V GaN HEMT, SK keyfoundry plans to build a GaN portfolio that can offer a wide range of voltages for GaN HEMTs and GaN ICs.

“We are preparing for the next generation of power semiconductors in addition to our competitive high-voltage BCDs,” said Derek D. Lee, CEO of SK keyfoundry.

“We will also expand our power semiconductor portfolio to include not only GaN, but also SiC, in the future to establish ourselves as a specialized power semiconductor foundry,” Lee continued.

-19 June 2024-