Korean media: Japan’s gallium nitride is expected to come out within 10 years

Korean media etnews reported that self-driving cars and electric vehicles are booming, and power semiconductors that can control current in extreme environments have attracted much attention. GaN and silicon carbide (SiC for short) are the few semiconductor materials that meet this condition, among which GaN-based power semiconductors are most noticed and are regarded as “next-generation power semiconductors”.

In view of this, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan plans to fund Japanese companies and universities to develop next-generation semiconductors with lower power consumption. It is expected to allocate US$20.3 million next year and a total of US$85.6 million in the next five years. Japan subsidizes companies that develop GaN materials, and GaN semiconductors can reduce power consumption.

Japan is the first country in the world to develop GaN, and the government is strongly supporting it, giving it a competitive advantage in the country’s global market. semiconductor materials are Japan’s strengths, and the Japanese side intends to support related companies to develop semiconductor materials that can reduce power consumption, so as to surpass its rivals. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry believes that in the late 2020s, Japanese companies will begin to supply GaN-based semiconductors for data centers, home appliances, automobiles, etc. If GaN replaces silicon, which is widely used today, it could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 14.4 million tons per year.

The energy gap of GaN is wider than that of silicon, and it consumes less power and is resistant to high temperature.

Why are all parties optimistic about GaN? As The Verge reported in early 2019, Martin Kuball, a physicist at the University of Bristol in the UK, said that all materials have a “band gap,” or the ability to conduct electricity. GaN has a wider energy gap than silicon, can withstand higher voltages, and can pass current faster.

As such, GaN-based semiconductors are more efficient and consume less power than silicon semiconductors. “You can make things smaller, or cram more GaN into the same area, and perform better,” says Danqing Wang, a Harvard PhD candidate The amount is also less. Kuball pointed out that if all current Electronic products use GaN, the power consumption is expected to be reduced by 10%, or even 25%.

In addition, silicon cannot withstand excessive temperatures, and the electronic components in the car must be kept away from the engine to avoid overheating. GaN can withstand high temperatures better than silicon, removing this limitation and opening up endless possibilities for automotive design.


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