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TI Factories Shift to 8-Inch GaN for Cost Efficiency

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TI Factories Shift to 8-Inch GaN for Cost Efficiency

Texas Instruments (TI) is currently in the process of transitioning its Gallium Nitride on Silicon (GaN-on-Si) production methodology from 6 inches (150mm) to 8 inches (200mm). This strategic initiative is designed to bolster production capabilities and secure a competitive cost advantage within the electronic components industry.

During a TI offline media event on March 5th, Ju-Yong Shin, the Director of TI Korea, conveyed, "Despite the prevailing perception that GaN semiconductors are costlier than Silicon Carbide (SiC) semiconductors, we are observing a notable trend reversal in pricing. Our ongoing efforts include the establishment of 8-inch wafer fabrication facilities in Dallas, the United States, Aizu, Japan, and other key locations. Upon completion of these facilities, we anticipate offering solutions at significantly lower price points than the current market rates."

TI is actively transitioning its 6-inch production process to 8 inches, with plans to further advance to a 12-inch process to optimize production efficiency. The 8-inch wafer provides 1.78 times the area of a 6-inch wafer, facilitating increased semiconductor production. Similarly, a 12-inch wafer boasts an area 2.25 times that of an 8-inch wafer.

Shin remarked, "Traditionally, TI employed the 6-inch process for Gallium Nitride semiconductor production. The transition of our Dallas facility to the 8-inch process is anticipated to be completed by 2025. In the case of our Aizu, Japan facility, we are currently converting the existing 8-inch silicon-based production line into a GaN semiconductor production line. However, specific details regarding the timeline for this conversion are not disclosed at this time."

Industry analysts posit that TI's ongoing process transformation may lead to a reduction in GaN semiconductor prices. TI's shift from an 8-inch process to a 12-inch process for Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMICs) production is also contributing to a broader industry-wide price reduction.

An industry insider commented, "The transition from a 6-inch to an 8-inch production process is expected to yield a reduction in production costs of over 10%."


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