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GaN Systems wins “Start-Up to Watch” Award at Global Semiconductor Alliance ceremony

GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham
GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham

Ottawa’s GaN Systems took home the “Start-Up to Watch” award at last week’s Global Semiconductor Alliance 2015 Awards Dinner Celebration, presented in front of an audience of over 1,400 executives in Santa Clara, California.

Based in Ottawa with offices in the UK, Germany, Japan and the U.S., GaN Systems manufactures a range of Gallium Nitride high-power transistors for consumer, enterprise, industrial, solar/wind/smartgrid, and transportation power conversion applications.

These compound semiconductor devices purport to offer vastly superior performance to silicon devices, and have only recently become cost competitive with the silicon standard, using low cost GaN-on-silicon base wafers based on GaN Systems’ device design IP.

Whereas the other main awards were voted on by the Global Semiconductor Alliance’s membership, the “Start-Up to Watch” award was chosen by the GSA’s Private Awards Committee, comprised of senior semiconductor and foundry executives, venture capitalists and industry entrepreneurs, their selection criteria being to choose “a company that has demonstrated the potential to positively change its market or the industry through the innovative use of semiconductor technology or a new application for semiconductor technology.”

Additionally, eligibility for the “Start-Up to Watch” award is determined by three extra criteria. The recipient must be a semiconductor company, either fabless or an integrated device manufacturer, must be privately held, and must have cumulative product revenue under $20 million.

Following candidate screening, the four finalists for the award must also make an in-person presentation to the Private Awards Committee.

“It is humbling to receive this award from an organization made up of hundreds of esteemed global industry leaders such as Analog Devices, Broadcom, Infineon, Intel, ON Semiconductor, NXP, Qualcomm, Samsung, Silicon Labs, and TSMC,” commented GaN Systems’ president Girvan Patterson.

The GSA Awards are handed out by the membership of over 400 companies in 35 countries, which account for over 75% of the semicondoctur industry’s revenue.

“The world is using more electronics and more energy at an ever increasing rate,” says GaN Systems’ CEO Jim Witham. “Without increasing the efficiency of power electronics and reducing their size, the trend is unsustainable. Our products help to alleviate the world’s exponentially growing appetite for more compact, efficient and cost-effective power management solutions. GaN Systems’ innovations allow our products to far exceed the performance limitations of silicon, enabling previously unachievable levels of power conversion performance for consumer, data-center, industrial and transportation applications. Today, hundreds of customers worldwide have developed products with GaN Systems.”

In May, GaN Systems closed a $20 million U.S. Series C round, led by Cycle Capital Management, with an assist from BDC Capital and Beijing-based Tsing Capital, joined by existing investors Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and RockPort Capital.

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