Lattice Power, Plessey press forward with GaN-on-silicon LED production

Lattice Power says that it is in volume production of high-power gallium nitride LEDs grown on silicon substrates, while Plessey appears to be not far behind.

Lattice Power Corporation, a China-based company that is developing gallium nitride (GaN)-based LED chips manufactured on silicon substrates, says that it has started volume production of its new-generation, high-power GaN-on-Si LEDs. The company says this will “set the backdrop for a sharp reduction in the prices of energy-efficient LED light bulbs worldwide.”

In related news, UK-based Plessey Semiconductors has bought an MOCVD system from Aixtron so that it can grow GaN-on-Si materials on 150-mm-diameter wafers.

Lattice Power

Lattice Power claims to be “the first and only company in volume production of GaN-on-silicon LED chips, with products that are comparable to high-end chips that rely on conventional sapphire substrates.”

Several other companies, including Osram and Bridgelux, have unveiled promising results from their GaN-on-Si development work on large-diameter silicon wafers.

Lattice Power's GaN-on-Si LED series encompasses four different chip sizes: 28 x 28 mil, 35 x 35 mil, 45 x 45 mil, and 55 x 55 mil (approx 1.4 x 1.4 mm). The power ranges from 0.5 watts to 2 watts. At an operating current of 350mA, the 45-mil product has an output of 130 lm in cool white, with an efficiency of 120 lm/W.

One of the principal potential advantages of GaN-on-Si is cost reduction due to the lower price of silicon wafers compared with sapphire. Also, silicon substrates are readily available in larger diameters. Lattice Power says that it is actively working on 150-mm GaN-on-Si technology and is expecting to transfer its production to larger-diameter silicon substrates in 2013.

Lattice Power says that twenty strategic customers have received its LEDs and will incorporate them into indoor and outdoor lighting applications. The company has previously supplied smaller, lower-power GaN-on-Si LEDs for display and signage applications. Lattice Power has filed more than 200 innovative international and domestic patents in this field.

“Since its birth, Lattice Power has focused on high efficiency, low cost and high reliability LEDs on silicon. To get to where it is now, Lattice Power has faced lots of hurdles and challenges and overcome many obstacles and heart-breaks,” said Wang Min, the co-founder and CEO of Lattice Power. “But we have persevered and gained enormous traction with customers. Our silicon-based LED technology will finally open the door for LED bulbs to be used in millions of households.”

Plessey installs Aixtron reactor

Germany-based MOCVD system supplier Aixtron has announced that it will supply a CRIUS II-XL reactor to Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. The system will be used to grow GaN-on-Si materials in a 7 x 6-inch wafer configuration, and will be installed in Plessey’s facility in Plymouth, UK.

In February 2012, Plessey acquired CamGaN Limited, a University of Cambridge spin-off formed to commercialize the growth of GaN LEDs on large-area silicon substrates.

Barry Dennington, COO of Plessey Semiconductors, comments, “We are on schedule for the production of a world-class LED that will become the high-performance lighting LED at the price break-through the market has been waiting for. We will be in early prototype production before the end of Q3 2012 and in full production by Q2 2013.”

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