STMicroelectronics is deploying GaN-on-Silicon technology to address the need for more energy-efficient power electronics, thereby reducing the electrical losses of power converters for chargers, servers, and electric motors by half and their volume by a factor of 3.
Reduce the energy consumption of electronic equipment by improving the performance of power converters.
Compared to conventional Silicon technology, the GaN technology implemented by STMicroelectronics reduces the electrical losses of power converters in chargers, servers, photovoltaic systems, and electric motors by a factor of 2 and their volume of by a factor of 3.
The company thereby addresses the need for more power-efficient consumer electronics, computers, electric cars, and industrial equipment.
More specifically, this concerns:
- The implementation of a 200 mm (8′) pilot manufacturing line to produce wafers on Silicon and the etching of GaN integrated circuits, with the construction of a building containing a clean room of 1,000 m2 dedicated to this innovation.
- The development of this new technology with advanced research centers (CEA-Leti, IRT-Nanoelec) and a start-up (Exagan).
- The purchase of specialized production equipment for 8′ GaN technology (epitaxy, metrology, etching).
- The development of new product portfolios for power applications (chargers, converters in the industrial, automotive, consumer electronics, and computer fields).
Direct emissions generated by the company's activity.
Indirect emissions associated with the company's electricity and heat consumption.
Emissions induced (upstream or downstream) by the company's activities, products and/or services in its value chain.
Carbon sinks creation, (BECCS, CCU/S, …)
Emissions avoided by the activities, products and/or services in charge of the project, or by the financing of emission reduction projects.
Avoided emission : Energy saving thanks to lower losses in the power converters (divided by 2)
- Quantification: 3,000 tC02eq/year
For ST, the manufacturing of these new-generation power converters in the pilot manufacturing line will result in a surplus of GHG emissions from the production site. However, it will be significantly compensated by the reduction in GHG emissions upon integration of these electronic devices in equipment, as the new power devices will reduce their load loss by 50%.
Assuming these new circuits are implemented in cell phone chargers (3.5 kwh annual charge, of which 10% charge loss that will be reduced to 5%), we estimate that the net emission gain will be more than 3,000 tCO2eq/year.
GaN technology contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
- SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy: lower energy use in a wide range of high-voltage applications (industrial, electric cars, consumer electronics powering by the mains).
- SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities: the electrical infrastructures in cities will be more efficient.
The Tours pilot line will be transformed into a mass production unit, at the Tours site and possibly at other ST sites.
Various factors contribute to the success of this project:
- Collaboration with advanced research organizations and start-ups
- Public support for the project
A partnership between STMicroelectronics and Exagan, CEA-Leti, and IRT Nanoelec has been initiated.