Canadian semiconductor company GaN Systems Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Germany-based chip maker Infineon Technologies AG for US$830 million.
The all-cash deal for the Ottawa-headquartered company, which is scaling up technology to serve the automotive industry and a range of other sectors, was announced March 2.
GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham said the purchase brings together companies with “complementary strengths.”
“Combining GaN Systems’ foundry corridors with Infineon’s in-house manufacturing capacity enables maximum growth capability to serve the accelerating adoption of GaN in a wide range of our target markets,” he said in a release.
GaN Systems designs high-efficiency power transistors made of gallium nitride, or GaN. They are both smaller and more efficient than their traditional silicon counterparts. The company is targeting a range of end markets, with electric vehicles chief among them. Witham told Automotive News Canada in late 2021 that nine out of 10 global automakers and Tier 1 suppliers were considering the company’s transistors in designs for their next-generation vehicles and parts.
A pair of auto players also have direct stakes in the business. Parts supplier Vitesco Technologies Group and the venture capital arm of BMW are among GaN Systems’ investors.
Infineon CEO Jochen Hanebeck, said GaN technology is poised to break into a series of different industries, and that the acquisition will speed the company’s entry into the market.
“The planned acquisition of GaN Systems will significantly accelerate our GaN roadmap, based on unmatched R&D resources, application understanding and customer project pipeline,” he said in a release.
Unlike the Canadian company, which is what’s known as a “fabless” chip maker because it designs but does not fabricate its own products, Infineon has its own chip foundry in Austria, and another planned for Malaysia.
GaN Systems employs more than 200 people, mainly at offices in Ottawa and Taiwan.
The acquisition remains subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.