STMicroelectronics has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake GaN-on-Si technology start-up Exagan (founded in 2014 with support from CEA-Leti and Soitec). Exagan’s expertise in epitaxy, product development and application know-how will broaden and accelerate ST’s power GaN roadmap and business for automotive, industrial and consumer applications. Exagan will continue to execute its product roadmap and will be supported by ST in the deployment of its products.
Closing of the acquisition remains subject to customary regulatory approvals from French authorities. The signed agreement also provides for the acquisition by ST of the remaining minority stake in Exagan 24 months after the closing of the acquisition of the majority stake. The transaction is funded with available cash.
“ST has built strong momentum in silicon carbide and is now expanding in another very promising compound material, gallium nitride, to drive adoption of the power products based on GaN by customers across the automotive, industrial and consumer markets,”
says ST’s president & CEO Jean-Marc Chery.
In power electronics, GaN-based devices provide high-frequency operation, with increased efficiency and higher power density compared with silicon-based transistors, leading to power savings and total system downsizing. GaN products can address a wide variety of applications such as power factor correction (PFC) and DC/DC converters in servers, telecom and industrial applications, on-board chargers for electric vehicle (EV) and DC-DC converters for automotive applications, as well personal electronics applications like power adaptors.
“The acquisition of a majority stake in Exagan is another step forward in strengthening our global technology leadership in power semiconductors and our long-term GaN roadmap, ecosystem and business,” says Chery. “It comes in addition to ongoing developments with CEA-Leti in Tours, France, and the recently-announced collaboration with TSMC.”