Exagan was founded by Frédéric Dupont and Fabrice Letertre, who together accrued more than 30 years of semiconductor industry experience at Soitec, a global leader in advanced materials. After many years of conducting R&D in gallium nitride (GaN) and convinced that GaN will be a key driver for device performance, they committed to draw upon an existing GaN material technology to develop the ultimate GaN power-device solution, with the goal of accelerating large-scale adoption of this “electrical converter booster” technology in 200-mm semiconductor manufacturing.
Backed by Soitec and CEA-Leti, a leading European research center focused on micro- and nanotechnologies, the founders launched Exagan as a spin-off company in April 2014.
The ability to achieve greater efficiency and reduce costs through power integration is driving the future of electrical converters. Power integration requires low electrical losses and high-frequency operation, which are limited in today’s silicon power devices. But the use of GaN devices is opening doors to never-before-possible power integration and efficiency. This is creating strong interest among electrical-converter manufacturers and their semiconductor suppliers. In addition, the prospect of more efficient and smaller-scale conversion systems offers a range of competitive advantages for everything from sustainable energies to automobiles to mobile electronics.
To champion disruptive GaN technology, a flexible, application-focused and partnership-oriented company has been formed, that allows end users to fully understand the capabilities, risks and opportunities for GaN-based converter systems in their product roadmaps. It offers the agility and flexibility of a start-up with a robust, qualified manufacturing chain and established, recognized industrial partners for wafer processing, testing and packaging.
It is Exagan’s belief that superior GaN device performance and product leadership will be achieved by controlling material technology and IP. To this end, teams are working to apply advanced material technology from Soitec and innovative GaN device technology from CEA-Leti that has been developed over the past 10 years through internal and collaborative projects. The resulting GaN-on-silicon technology provides significant advantages in achieving the performance and reliability milestones that will lead to GaN’s widespread adoption in producing electrical converters.
Exagan’s 650-volt and 1,200-volt high-power transistors are developed using proprietary G-Stack™ material technology. Backed by a robust supply chain of established silicon foundries and test companies, G-FET™ product family exhibits extremely low conduction and switching loss, enabling very high operating frequencies. Equipped with such devices, customers will be able to rethink their systems and application roadmaps to achieve unprecedented system integration and efficiency levels.
How can a young spin-off company succeed? In addition to the powerful legacy technology that is possessed from Soitec and CEA-Leti, Exagan has an extensive network of resources, including access to CEA-Leti’s best-in-class semiconductor infrastructure and 200-mm equipment and a strategic research partnership with CEA in the field of power devices. Exagan also is a member of the global semiconductor-industry association SEMI.
By locating the headquarter in the French Silicon Valley, company enjoys being part of the unique Minatec campus and the associated miniaturization-technology clusters at Minalogic as well as Tenerrdis, a cluster devoted to emerging new energy technology. In addition, the Toulouse branch places us in the midst of automotive and aerospace clusters there.
The unique fab lite business model leverages on industrial partnerships for large-scale production of GaN devices at 200-mm silicon foundries to satisfy customers’ needs for a robust supply of semiconductors qualified for automotive applications.
With a strong network of partners, innovative technology and unique business model, Exagan is well positioned for the GaN market.
Soitec is an international manufacturing company, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials at the frontier of the most exciting energy and electronic challenges. Soitec’s products include substrates for microelectronics (most notably SOI : Silicon-on-Insulator). More information: www.soitec.com
CEA-Leti is a French institute that is creating innovation, transferring it to industry and is the bridge between basic research and production of micro- and nanotechnologies that improve the lives of people around the world. Leti has a portfolio of 2,200 patents with 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. More information: www-leti.cea.fr