Infineon and GaN Systems just dropped a bombshell in the lead-up to the biggest power show of the year – Infineon will acquire GaN Systems for US $830 million.
With the Applied Power and Electronics Conference (APEC) less than a fortnight away, this definitely shakes up the balance of power and adds an interesting spin to the forthcoming proceedings in Orlando.
The two companies announced this momentous bit of news in a joint press release. And it’s not hard to see why Infineon made this move – Canada-based GaN Systems is a global technology leader in the development of GaN-based solutions, and wide band-gap semiconductors (and gallium nitride, especially) are increasingly dominating the power electronics industry.
With their higher operating temperatures, higher voltages, and higher switching speeds, gallium nitride and silicon carbide are becoming ubiquitous, with the future looking even brighter.
Statista forecasts that, over the next eight years, the market size of gallium nitride for radio-frequency devices should increase to over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. And there’s similar prognostications across the industry.
In their joint press release, the companies noted that by 2027, market analysts expect the GaN revenue for power applications to grow by 56% CAGR to approx. US$2 billion (source: Yole, Compound Semiconductor Market Monitor-Module I Q4 2022).
In February 2022, Infineon announced doubling down on wide bandgap by investing more than €2 billion in a new frontend fab in Kulim, Malaysia, strengthening its market position. The first wafers will leave the fab in the second half of 2024, adding to Infineon’s existing wide bandgap manufacturing capacities in Villach, Austria.
Regarding Infineon and GaN Systems’ deal, the principle figures had the following to say.
“GaN technology is paving the way for more energy-efficient and CO 2-saving solutions that support decarbonization. Adoption in applications like mobile charging, data center power supplies, residential solar inverters, and onboard chargers for electric vehicles is at the tipping point, leading to a dynamic market growth,” said Jochen Hanebeck, CEO of Infineon. “The planned acquisition of GaN Systems will significantly accelerate our GaN roadmap, based on unmatched R&D resources, application understanding and customer project pipeline. Following our strategy, the combination will further strengthen Infineon’s leadership in Power Systems through mastery of all relevant power technologies, be it on silicon, silicon carbide or gallium nitride.”
Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems, said: “The GaN Systems team is excited about teaming up with Infineon to create highly differentiating customer offerings, based on bringing together complementary strengths. With our joint expertise in providing superior solutions, we will optimally leverage the potential of GaN. Combining GaN Systems’ foundry corridors with Infineon’s in-house manufacturing capacity enables maximum growth capability to serve the accelerating adoption of GaN in a wide range of our target markets. I am very proud of what GaN Systems has accomplished so far and cannot wait to help write the next chapter together with Infineon. As an integrated device manufacturer with a broad technology capability, Infineon enables us to unleash our full potential.”