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Gallium nitride (GaN) epitaxial wafer supplier EpiGaN agreed to be taken over by Soitec, a French manufacturer of semiconductor materials and wafers. Soitec is paying 30 million euros in cash for the Imec spin-off based in Hasselt, plus an additional earn-out payment based on completion of certain milestones.
EpiGaN’s GaN-on-silicon products are used primarily within RF, power electronics and sensor applications. These are also domains where Soitec’s silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates are used. Generally, GaN epi-technology offers higher performance and better power efficiency. This is important for sub-6 GHz and mm-wave 5G base stations, among other things. Soitec estimates the total addressable market for GaN technologies will grow to between 500,000 and 1,000,000 wafers per year within five years.
“GaN technology is gaining significant traction in RF and power markets. GaN epi-wafers represent a natural strategic fit with Soitec’s current portfolio of engineered substrates,” said Soitec CEO Paul Boudre. “The acquisition of EpiGaN further extends and complements our portfolio beyond silicon, to create new value-added process solutions for both RF 5G and power systems.”
EpiGaN will be integrated as one of Soitec’s business units.