Founder: Giorgia Longobardi
Business: Producing semiconductor technology using Gallium Nitride (GaN) rather than Silicon.
Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD) is a DeepTech startup operating in the power electronics space. It produces semiconductor (sometimes referred to as integrated circuits or microchips) technology using the wonder material Gallium Nitride (GaN) rather than Silicon. While these components are small, their impact on the world is growing. CGD was created to deliver the innovation that will help make the world greener.
Almost anything that needs power (e.g. laptops, smartphones, data centres, electric vehicles) relies on a vast number of transistors in the chips within them. If you can markedly reduce the energy lost through the inefficiency of those chips, it will have a dramatic impact on reducing emissions, which will in turn protect the environment and help reduce the devastating effects of climate change.
Using GaN, engineers at CGD have developed a range of transistors that are over 100 times faster, lose 5-10 times less power, and are 4 times smaller than Silicon equivalents. Today, Silicon based semiconductors make up 99% of the market but are slower, heavier and lose more energy than GaN Devices, which has created a market projected to be worth more than $24.9bn by 2026, with power semiconductors accounting for an estimated $1-1.5bn in 2026.
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As a fabless semiconductor company – CGD designs microchips rather than manufactures – the company was spun-out of Cambridge University by Dr Giorgia Longobardi and Professor Florin Udrea in 2016 to exploit revolutionary technology in power devices. It has since raised a $9.5m Series A round and submitted more than 50 patent applications. CGD is pursuing its mission is to shape the future of power electronics by delivering the most efficient and easy-to-use transistor. Its ICeGaN™ technology is protected by a strong IP portfolio which constantly grows based on the company’s leading innovation skills and ambitions. CGD has successfully secured several projects funded by iUK, BEIS and EU (Penta). The technical and commercial expertise of the CGD team combined with an extensive track record in the power electronics market has been fundamental in early market traction of its proprietary technology.
2022 is set to be a big year, as CGD has already unveiled a rebrand of the company, launched its ICeData project targeting the data centre market, which accounts for 2% of global emissions, and will announce the launch of its first product for the market. The company also has a number of client engagements in the pipeline, including partnerships with major companies that are soon to be finalised.
CGD will continue to invest heavily in R&D as it aims to become the market leader in GaN power integrated circuits and wishes to demonstrate to all that efficient power electronics is a key goal for the world to reach its net zero targets. The company will also significantly expand its team over the next few years as it continues to innovate and push forward on R&D activities via strategic partnerships that will take the company to the next level.
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