updated 04:45 pm EDT, Mon October 4, 2010
NC State patents high-power GaN computer sensors
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a way to put gallium nitride (GaN) sensors and related devices onto silicon computer chips. The finding will pave the way for high voltage and high current devices critical for the development of energy distribution devices in smart grid technology and military communications. Co-holder of the patent and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering says GaN can support more power than conventional transistors and do so faster.
The GaN integration also offers a wider radio frequency range, enabling their use for high-end communications products. Narayan had the help of former NC State Ph.D. student Thomas Rawdanowicz in the patent.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the GaN research at NC State and is now funding additional research in the area. An unnamed US-based company is in the process of licensing the technology. [via PhysOrg]