News & Events

Epistar to undertake outsourced production of GaN-on-Si chips for TSMC

LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar will undertake outsourced production of GaN-on-Si chips for TSMC, with shipments to begin in second-quarter 2021 at the earliest, according to industry sources.

TSMC provides foundry services for 6-inch GaN-on-Si wafers but its in-house production capacity has been fully utilized, the sources said. To increase output, TSMC will procure additional MOCVD sets from Germany-based Aixtron and put the equipment at Epistar's factory to let Epistar undertake outsourced production under licensed use of TSMC's patented technology, the sources noted.

Unikorn Semiconductor, Epistar's subsidiary foundry service provider for III-V compound semiconductor components, has installed foundry equipment for 6-inch GaN-on-Si epitaxial wafers with monthly production capacity of 20 million GaN-on-Si chips in second-half 2020, the sources indicated. Unikorn will undertake the outsourced production for TSMC, the sources said.

Along with standardization of power charging specifications for smartphones, use of GaN-on-Si power devices in fast power chargers is expected to grow fast in 2021, the sources cited Epistar' chairman Lee Biing-jye as indicating.

China-based HC SemiTek has hiked prices for LED chips used in lighting by 6-8%, for prices have dropped to levels close to production costs, the sources said. Besides, rebounding demand for LCD panels has pushed up prices for backlighting-use LEDs, the sources noted.