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Industry News / Semiconductors / Integrated Circuits

Element Six acquires assets and IP of Group4 Labs

May 31, 2013
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Element Six has acquired the assets and intellectual property of Group4 Labs, Inc., a semiconductor wafer materials company that manufactured GaN on-diamond semiconductor technology for RF and high-power devices. The asset acquisition will expand Element Six’s semiconductor portfolio for defense and commercial applications.

Group4 developed the first commercially available composite semiconductor wafer that includes GaN and diamond. Designed for manufacturers of transistor-based circuits with high power, temperature and frequency characteristics, the first-ever GaN-on-diamond system enables rapid, efficient and cost-effective heat extraction. This process reduces the operating temperatures of packaged devices, addressing heat issues that account for more than 50 percent of all electronic failures.

Synthetic diamond dissipates heat up to five times better than existing materials, such as copper and silicon carbide, enabling device manufacturers to produce smaller, faster and higher power electronic devices, with longer lifespans and improved reliability.

When implemented within power amplifiers, microwave and millimeter-wave circuits, GaN-on-diamond systems pose numerous benefits and applications within the defense and commercial sectors. This includes deployment in cellular base stations, radar sensing equipment, weather and communications satellite equipment, and inverters and converters typically used in hybrid and electronic vehicles.

“GaN-on-diamond wafers are poised to take a center seat in many of our customers technology roadmaps, as new developments demonstrate its ability to dramatically reduce device temperatures, while maintaining output performance,” said Adrian Wilson, head of technologies for Element Six. “With the acquisition of the GaN-on-diamond process developed by Group4, we plan to continue to support the market’s growth trajectory, ramping up manufacturing capabilities to deliver innovative synthetic diamond solutions to meet emerging market demands.”

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