Plessey acquires Cambridge University spin-out CamGaN

Plessey has acquired CamGaN, a Cambridge University spin-out formed to commercialise novel technologies for the growth of gallium nitride (GaN) high-brightness (HB) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on large-area silicon substrates.

The acquisition will enable Plessey to exploit synergies with its 6in (15cm) processing facility in Plymouth, UK, to produce HB LEDs based on CamGaN’s proprietary 6in GaN-on-silicon technology.

The company believes this acquisition positions it among the first commercial players to successfully manufacture HB LEDs on 6in silicon substrates.

The newly acquired Plessey HB LED solution enables the growth of thin HB LED structures on standard, readily available, silicon substrates.

Current technologies use silicon carbide (SiC) or sapphire substrates, which are expensive and difficult to scale up.

Plessey’s GaN-on-silicon solution offers cost reductions in the order of 80 per cent compared with LEDs grown on SiC or sapphire by reducing scrap rates, minimising batch time and enabling the use of automated semiconductor processing equipment.

These cost reductions will be achieved while enabling outputs in excess of 150 lumens per watt later this year — a combination that will reportedly allow Plessey to offer the most cost-effective solutions in the HB LED industry.