In April, 2023, I wrote about the evolving and escalating trade war between the U.S. & China. One of the developments was the U.S. and some of its allies banning the sale of advanced AI computer chips to China. On July 3rd, China retaliated with an announcement that it would impose export restrictions on two semiconductor materials: gallium and germanium, starting August 1st. Gallium is a common element used to make LEDs, based on Gallium Nitride (GaN).
In response, North American GaN device makers have shared that they expect continuity of gallium supply despite the restrictions. These GaN device makers include:
- Transphorm Inc produces GaN transistors (California)
- Navitas Semiconductor produces power ICs (California)
- GaN Systems Inc produces power-switching semiconductor devices (Ontario)
Gallium is generally a byproduct resulting from refinement processes used to produce common metals such as aluminum from bauxite ore, and aluminum is produced in many countries, including Australia, Brazil, India, Jamaica, and the USA.
You can read the full story in Semiconductor Today, here.