The shortcomings of global semiconductors delay the production of everything from the fridge and microwave to game consoles and smartphones. Experts say it can take months for the industry to recover, but in reality the lack of consumer electronics forever.
This industry depends on silicone for decades, but lack of chips helps make electronic devices more environmentally friendly, more efficient and smaller. More and more companies are turning to gallium nitride (bro), because it is easier and faster to produce rather than silicon chips, among other benefits.
Techradar Pro talks with Stephen Oliver, VP Corporate Marketing and Investor Relations in Semiconductor Navitas, to find out how these shortcomings affect consumer electronics and shift industries from silicon. Navitas supply chips bro to companies including Anker, AUKEY, BELKIN, DELL, HYPER, LENOVO, OPPO, RAVEPOWER, Verizon and dozens of others.
Is that bro and why is it so important?
Combining gallium (atomic number 31) and nitrogen (atomic number 7), gallium nitride (bro) is a wide bandgap semiconductor material with a hard and hexagonal crystal structure. Bandgap is the energy needed to free electrons from its orbit around nucleus and, at 3.4 eV, the bandgap gallium nitride is more than three times the silicon, thus bandgap or extensive WBG.
When bandgap determines the electric field that can be held by material, the wider bandgap of gallium nitride allows the development of semiconductors with very short or narrow thinning areas, which lead to device structures with very high carrier densities. With a much smaller transistor and shorter current paths, resistance and ultra-low capacitance are reached, allowing speeds up to 100x faster.
The point is that technology bro can handle larger electric fields in a form factor that is much smaller than conventional silicon while giving switching that is significantly faster. In addition, gan technology can operate at a higher maximum temperature than their silicon-based colleagues.
Bro is increasingly important because of its ability to offer increased performance significantly crossing various applications while reducing energy and physical space needed to provide that performance when compared to conventional silicon technology. In some applications where silicon as a power conversion platform has reached its physical limit, Gallium Nitride Technologies becomes important, while in others the benefits of efficiency, switching speed, size and high temperature operation joining to make bro more interesting.
Because global energy needs increase, the displacement to technology, bro will help meet the demand while maintaining a minimal carbon emissions. Indeed, GAR design and integration have been proven to provide the next generation power semiconductor with ten times lower carbon traces than slower silicon chips, slower. To better support the case for bro, it is estimated that the upgrade of the Si-to-Gan data center around the world will reduce energy loss by 30-40%, which will translate as saving more than 100 TWHR and 125 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2030.
How is the gallium made?
Gallium is not in the form of elements in nature. This usually originates as a by-product of bauxite ore smelting into aluminum and from sphalerite ore processing for zinc, so have a very low extraction and carbon footprint improvement.