The Ottawa-based clean-tech semiconductor company uses gallium nitride to create highly efficient power switching semiconductors at a lower cost and lighter weight than silicon devices.
Entry into the U.S. market will give the company greater access to industries including manufacturing and automotive where the need for clean tech power conversion applications is growing, according to a company release.
Julian Styles, former head of U.S./Swedish company Movimento Group, has been chosen to lead business development at the new office.
““We have worked hard to develop viable, effective GaN applications, including making hybrid and all electric vehicles cost effective,” stated GaN Systems CEO Girvan Patterson in the release.
“Julian’s broad experience and strong technical background including electric vehicle and grid systems will complement the existing team to meet the needs of a growing company like ours.”
GaN Systems technology offers reduced energy conversion losses and greater power production compared to its silicon-based competition. A typical silicon converter can achieve 95 per cent efficiency, whereas gallium nitride converters can achieve 98 to 99 per cent efficiency, according to GaN Systems spokesperson Jamil Karin.
“Many believe this is the future of the automotive industry when it comes to hybrid and electric vehicles, and this is why GaN Systems is making the move into Ann Arbor,” he said in an email to OBJ.
Earlier this year, GaN Systems landed its second funding round in seven months from existing investors. The amount of the funds was not disclosed.
Prior to the institutional funding, the four-year-old company received financial support from a half-dozen angel investors as well as the National Research Council of Canada and Ontario Centres of Excellence and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.