ST moves into GaN-on-silicon with Macom

February 07, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
European chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV will manufacture gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) circuits for radio frequency power applications in telecommunications for Macom Technology Solutions Holdings Inc. (Lowell, Mass.) while using the technology for automotive and consumer applications itself.

The two companies have announced an agreement whereby ST licenses Macom's technology for GaN-on-Si RF power products. This expands Macom's supply base while also giving ST the right to manufacture and sell its own GaN-on-silicon products in RF markets outside of mobile phone, wireless basestation and related commercial telecom infrastructure applications, the companies said.

The two companies have been working together for several years to bring GaN-on-Si into production in ST's CMOS wafer fab. Sample production is expected to start in 2018.

Macom said access to GaN-on-Si from ST would provide improved cost structure and allow the technology to displace incumbent silicon LDMOS devices. The is likely to find use in 4G/LTE and massive MIMO 5G antennas.

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