II-VI Signs $100 Million Agreement to Develop SiC Substrates for GaN RF Power Amplifiers

II‐VI Incorporated, a manufacturer of optoelectronic components for applications in communication, material processing, semiconductor capital equipment, and automotive markets has announced that it has signed a multiyear agreement for over $100M, the largest in the history of II-VI, to supply silicon carbide (SiC) substrates for gallium nitride (GaN) RF power amplifiers deployed in 5G wireless base stations.

The accelerating rollout of 5G wireless services is driving deeper strategic relationships in the 5G wireless supply chain ecosystem to meet the market windows. This new agreement builds on II-VI’s extensive experience as a leading global supplier of high-quality SiC substrates for the 4G and 5G markets.      

GaN-on-SiC RF power amplifiers have superior performance compared with devices based on GaN-on-silicon over a wide spectrum of 5G operating frequencies, from the low gigahertz range to millimeter-wave bands. Customers are building strategic partnerships with II-VI because of its long track record of pushing the technology forward with larger substrate diameters and industry-leading crystal quality. II-VI’s recently announced semi-insulating 200 mm silicon carbide substrates, the first in the world which will enable the customers to scale production far into the future.

Leveraging a strong intellectual property portfolio of 30 active patents, II-VI is advancing the state of the art in SiC substrates with highly differentiated and proprietary technologies including crystal growth, substrate fabrication, and polishing. II-VI is also expanding its ability to drive the 5G RF semiconductor roadmap by establishing a vertically integrated, 150 mm GaN-on-SiC HEMT device manufacturing platform. In addition to SiC substrates, II-VI provides a powerful array of wavelength management solutions and transceivers for the wireless optical access infrastructure. Altogether, II-VI offers a broad range of materials, devices, components, and subsystems to enable the coming large-scale 5G rollout.