Licensing agreement reached with Transphorm, Inc.
- Building a strategic partnership with a leader in the GaN power device industry -
Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. has signed an exclusive license agreement with Transphorm, Inc. (California, USA, hereinafter referred to as Transphorm), a leading company in the gallium nitride (hereinafter referred to as GaN) power device market. This agreement grants Transphorm the exclusive right to use the GaN power device(note 1)-related patent portfolio solely held by Furukawa Electric.
Furukawa Electric will establish a strategic partnership with Transphorm to enhance and further develop the GaN power device-related product lines of both companies.
This agreement is part of the next-generation new businesses development activity Furukawa Electric has worked on in the “Furukawa ‘G’ plan 2015” (Medium-term management plan 2015). Furukawa Electric Group continues to aim for sustainable growth by taking advantage of one of Furukawa Electric’s strengths, material development capability.
Recently the smaller size and higher efficiency of next-generation power supply systems have given rise to a greater need for GaN power devices. This technology is expected to be broadly applied in products such as micro AC adopters, high-power-density PCs, power supply systems for servers and telecommunication devices, and power conditioners and controllers for highly efficient photovoltaic power generation systems.
Furukawa Electric has held about 150 patents (110 in Japan) on materials, manufacturing techniques and drive circuits based on GaN crystal growth-related technologies. The patent portfolio is highly rated in the industry.
On the other hand, Transphorm is recognized as an industrial leader, as can be seen from its release of the world’s first 600V-class GaN-HEMT(note 2) product certified by JEDEC. To be ready for its business expansion, which will be achieved by utilizing the rapid growth of the GaN power device market, Transphorm needed to quickly create a powerful patent environment.
In these circumstances, Furukawa Electric and Transphorm have signed two agreements: In one, Furukawa Electric grants Transphorm the exclusive right to use the GaN power device-related patents solely held by Furukawa Electric; and in the other, Furukawa Electric acquires shares of Transphorm.
Under these agreements, Furukawa Electric can promote effective use of its own patents and Transphorm can enhance its patent environment to expand its GaN power device business. Furukawa Electric and Transphorm will build a strategic partnership, for example by collaborating in the R&D area, to enhance and further develop the related product lines of both companies.
Company profile of Transphorm
|Company name||Transphorm, Inc.|
|Head office||California, USA|
|Year founded||2007 (by Umesh Mishra, Professor of UCSB (CTO) and Primit Parikh (President))|
|Representative||Fumihide Esaka (CEO)|
(note 1)GaN power device:
A power device using GaN, a wide band gap material. Compared to a device using silicon, it is superior in making an element smaller and highly efficient. Compared to SiC (silicon carbide) which is also a wide band gap material, it can form a GaN device on a cheap silicon substrate. Therefore, GaN power devices are expected to be broadly applied.
(note 2)GaN-HEMT (High Electron Mobility Transistor):
A transistor using the two-dimensional electron gas generated at the AlGaN/GaN interface in a conductive layer. It has a structure that enables a device to have low resistance while also giving an element high pressure resistance.