Engineered materials firm II-VI Inc. announced a strategic collaboration with Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations (SEDI) to establish a vertically integrated 150 mm wafer fabrication platform in Warren, New Jersey — a former ANADIGICS wafer fab — to manufacture GaN on SiC HEMT devices for 5G wireless networks.

The 150 mm production facility is planned to be qualified for GaN on SiC HEMT production in mid-2020.

The expected production capacity required to deploy next-generation broadband wireless services is driving the development of scalable and strategic supply chains for key enabling technologies. II-VI believes its expertise in 150 mm compound semiconductor manufacturing combined with SEDI’s in GaN RF device technology will enable the two to achieve best-in-class performance, greater scale and competitive costs for 5G RF solutions.

SEDI holds the leading market share for high performance GaN HEMT products for wireless communications.

II-VI acquired ANADIGICS in a prolonged auction that ended in March, 2016, paying approximately $78.2 million, primarily to acquire the 6-inch wafer fab in Warren. II-VI said it would use ANADIGICS' fab to produce vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL).

“II-VI has invested aggressively to establish a world-class 150 mm compound semiconductor manufacturing platform. Based on rapidly growing market opportunities, it was important to act now to evolve our long-standing commercial relationship into a full strategic relationship. We will leverage II-VI’s manufacturing platform to achieve economies of scale to enable us to meet the upcoming global demand for GaN on SiC HEMT devices.” — SEDI Corporate Director Keiichi Imamura
“This collaboration establishes a differentiated, vertically integrated value-chain solution that spans from substrates through RF modules. Coupling SEDI’s industry-leading HEMT device technology with our 150 mm manufacturing platform will accelerate both companies’ wide-bandgap RF product roadmaps, as well as secure a leading technology and market position for many years to come. To be ready for the mass-production ramps, we are preparing a 150 mm semi-insulating substrate manufacturing platform and expanding our Warren, New Jersey device fab to add these core technologies to our growing optoelectronic device fab capability.” — II-VI president and CEO Chuck Mattera