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On Semiconductor (ONNN - Analyst Report) is collaborating with the leading nanoelectronics research center imec (Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre), to develop next generation Gallium Nitride (GaN) on Silicon (Si) power devices.

GaN substrates could be very important for the  semiconductor industry due to special properties such as stability at high temperatures, thermal conductivity and radiation tolerance. The substance is therefore suitable for high-power and high-frequency devices for application in stressful environments, such as in military or space equipment. However, the reaction to Silicon makes the substrate formation a bit tricky, which is the main reason for the smaller wafer sizes.

Imec is working toward larger wafer sizes (its research produced 200mm wafers just last year). It has also developed a manufacturing process compatible with standard CMOS processes to facilitate volume production. For this purpose it has roped in semiconductor stalwarts such as Intel Corp (INTC - Analyst Report), Samsung, Panasonic, NVIDIA Corp (NVDA - Analyst Report), STMicroelectronics (STM - Snapshot Report), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI - Snapshot Report), GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM - Snapshot Report), Hynix, ASML Holding N.V. (ASML - Snapshot Report), Xilinx (XLNX - Analyst Report), Altera (ALTR - Analyst Report), Cadence Design Systems (CDNS - Snapshot Report), Qualcomm (QCOM - Analyst Report) and Renesas, among others.  

On Semi’s portfolio is focused on energy efficient devices and the company has been doing its own research on GaN silicon technology. With this agreement, On Semi brings its own research to the table, which further strengthens the collaboration, possibly speeding up the development and commercialization of GaN on Si and benefiting the entire semiconductor industry.

ON Semi reported revenues of $744.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012, flat sequentially, down 17.8% year over year and in the middle of management’s guidance range of $720.0-760.0 million, or down 1-6% sequentially.

On a pro forma basis, the company reported a net income of $51.1 million, or a 6.9% net income margin compared with $52.4 million, or 6.8% in the previous quarter and $113.2 million or 13.0% in the first quarter of 2012.

Currently, On Semiconductor has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a Hold rating in the short-term (1-3 months).

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