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European Supply Chain For Advanced GaN Technologies

Four year R&D project secures independent GaN production for military applications
A four-year research project guided by the European Defence Agency (EDA) has succeeded in establishing the entire supply chain for making GaN power components within Europe. The supply chain ranges from the availability of SiC substrates for the epitaxial growth of GaN, to the industrial manufacturing of hemts.

Project MANGA (Manufacturable GaN-SiC-substrates and GaN epitaxial wafers supply chain) was set up to ensure production of GaN devices for military applications without relying on international suppliers. Their high efficiency and robustness means GaN-based power electronic components are fast replacing established technologies in a broad spectrum of defence applications from advanced radar and communication antennas to electronic warfare. As such, the technology is regarded as critical.

MANGA involved research institutions, universities and defence companies from Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and the UK, working with the EDA. In the scope of the project, GaN-based transistor layers were grown epitaxially on newly developed, high quality SiC-substrates. Applying established foundry processing, these transistor layers were finally used to make state-of-the-art hemts.

In future projects, the EDA aims to further reduce the European defense industry's dependence on international trade regulations. In a follow-on project, the project partners want to achieve the qualification of an industrial European wafer supplier for state-of-the-art hemt structures.

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