Element Six has announced its acquisition of the intellectual property (IP) and assets of Group4 Labs, a semiconductor materials company best known for manufacturing gallium nitride (GaN) for RF and high-power semiconductors. The purchase will expand Element Six’s portfolio of synthetic diamond semiconductor materials for both defense and commercial applications.
Group4’s GaN-on-diamond technology was the first of its kind to become commercially available, for the manufacturing of high-power, high-frequency transistor-based circuits. The system dissipates heat considerably better than previously used materials, reducing the operating temperatures of packaged devices, increasing their lifespan and improving their reliability. The technology allows manufacturers to create smaller devices with higher output-power levels, creating a ripple effect within the industry as whole.
Element Six’s group of synthetic diamond materials supports the broadest electromagnetic transmission spectrum, the highest known thermal conductivity, as well as the highest known resistance to thermal shock; the added benefits of GaN semiconductor materials serve to take revolutionary system to an even greater level.
The synthetic diamond materials, in conjunction with power amplifiers, can be used in a wide range of systems including cellular base stations, radar sensing and weather satellite equipment, as well as the inverters and converters used in hybrid vehicles.
Having been partners since 2008, the full acquisition will greatly increase the production of the GaN-on-diamond wafers. The development of the advanced material technology has been made possible by the heft of Element Six as a De Beers company and the synergy of the two companies working together.
More information can be found at www.e6.com/electronics.