Sumitomo Chemical has agreed today with Hitachi Metals, Ltd. to acquire their compound semiconductor materials business. The acquisition is due to take place, effective April 1, 2015.
The business that Sumitomo Chemical will acquire from Hitachi Metals includes those of compound semiconductor materials, such as gallium nitride (GaN) substrates, GaN epiwafers, and gallium arsenide (GaAs) epiwafers. As far as GaN substrates and epiwafers are concerned, Hitachi Metals is a forerunner in the field and boasts its state-of-the-art technology.
The acquisition will allow Sumitomo Chemical to expand its business of GaN substrates and epiwafers for use in electronic and optical components, for which the market is taking off on a full scale, while at the same time devoting its efforts to early commercialization of the products for use in power devices.
Point the Power’s insight:
Sumitomo is a huge Japanese group. Chemicals are not their only activity in electronics. SEI, their electric division is actively using compound semiconductors. They developed Silicon Carbide MOSFET technology that has been released in 2013 and it is not a surprise if they are also actively working on Gallium Nitride devices. Their product portfolio goes far beyond power electronics. They are active in all electronics, connectors, materials applications as well.