Pioneering lamps using LEDs built from pure gallium nitride substrates (GaN on GaN™), Soraa has made ordinary lighting extraordinarily brilliant and efficient. Soraa's full spectrum GaN on GaN LED lamps have superior color rendering and beam characteristics compared to lamps using LEDs created from non-native substrates. Soraa is located in Fremont California, where it manufactures its GaN on GaN LEDs in the company's state-of-the-art facility.
Soraa was founded in 2008 in Goleta, California, by a team of pioneering professors from the worlds of engineering and semiconductors. In 2007, they made a bet on an LED technology platform completely different than current industry practice, a technology most industry experts at the time considered to be impossible to execute. They bet on Gallium GaN on GaN for their LEDs.
Before Soraa, all LEDs worldwide were made of GaN crystals grown onto a dissimilar substrate: usually sapphire or silicon carbide.
Soraa bet that GaN on GaN™ LEDs would produce more light per area of LED and be more cost-effective than technology based on other substrates. This strategy ran against every trend in the LED industry. But Soraa’s world-class team had the credentials, experience, and vision to make that bet and beat the odds:
That bet paid off: today, Soraa is the LED manufacturer using perfect GaN on GaN™ crystals for its products.
Why use GaN on GaN™ LEDs? They're simply better:
Only Soraa creates GaN on GaN™ lighting products for tomorrow's general illumination market. Perfect crystals mean perfect light.
Professor Nakamura may have single-handedly changed the technological face of the world. His discovery of p-type doping in Gallium Nitride (GaN) and development of blue, green, and white light emitting diodes (LEDs) and blue laser diodes (LDs) has enabled energy efficient, solid-state lighting used in displays, medicine, and the next generation of Blu-Ray optical storage. Now, Dr. Nakamura’s inventions are poised to replace Thomas Edison’s light bulb and save the world billions of dollars in energy costs.
Professor of Materials and Co-Director of the Solid-State Lighting Center at the University of California Santa Barbara, ranked number one in the nation by the National Research Council, Dr. Steven P. DenBaars’ interest in growth of GaN based semiconductors and their application to Blue LEDs, lasers and high power electronic devices lead to the first US university demonstration of a Blue GaN laser diode and more than seven patents pending on GaN growth and processing.
Materials Department Chair at U,C, Santa Barbara, ranked number one in the nation by the National Research Council, Professor Speck has worked extensively on the materials science of GaN and related alloys. He received the Quantum Device Award from the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors in 2007, was named an inaugural MRS Fellow in 2008, received the JJAP Best Paper Award in 2008, became an APS Fellow in 2009, and received the IEEE Photonics Society Aron Kressel Award for his work on nonpolar and semipolar GaN-based materials and devices.
Dr. Caulfield was formerly COO of Ausra, Inc. where he led the repositioning of the company that ultimately led to a strategic partner acquisition, and EVP of Sales, Marketing and Customer Satisfaction at Novellus Systems, Inc. where he oversaw global field operations. He also brings extensive semiconductor industry experience to Soraa having served, over his 17 year tenure, as VP of Semiconductor Operations at IBM.
With 20 years of laser diode and LED R&D experience, Mike is a former Executive VP at Philips Lumileds, where he formed and ran the Advanced Laboratories and its research on III-nitride epitaxy, LED device technology, and luminescent materials. He spearheaded many key solid-state lighting advancements, including flip-chip and thin-film flip-chip technologies, photonic crystal LEDs, ceramic phosphors, and advancing understanding of the “droop” mechanism in InGaN-GaN LEDs. A senior member of IEEE, he has published over 70 papers and has over 100 patents in the solid-state lighting field.
Doug brings extensive experience in the cleantech ecosystem, in fundraising, partnerships, banking, and research relationships. He is a former CFO of Stion, a manufacturer of thin film solar panels, where he co-lead fundraising, strategic partnerships and business development. He is a former VP of Finance of NVIDIA, and also brings extensive semiconductor industry experience from his 12 years with Intel in various senior finance roles. He holds a CPA license and an MBA in Finance.
Dr. Steranka joined Soraa in June of 2010 and has been in the LED business since 1984. With Hewlett Packard’s Optoelectronics Division, he worked on the successful commercialization of a wide variety of LED products based upon the AlGaAs, AlInGaP, and InGaN materials systems. In 1999, he joined the Agilent-Philips Lumileds Lighting joint venture where he served in many roles including Executive Vice President of R&D and CTO. With a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Frank has participated in or led the release to market of over 200 LED products.
Dr. Yoo is former President of Silicon Technologies at SunPower Corporation and CEO/President of Woongjin Energy (a SunPower joint venture). He established the world's best quality/lowest cost solar silicon ingot and wafer plant, and brings extensive production experience in crystal growth and wafering. He was also Sr. VP and Director of R&D Center at LG Siltron, and Principal Researcher at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and MS and BS Chemical Engineering Degrees from Hanyang University, Seoul.
Dr. D'Evelyn joined Soraa in April 2008 to lead the development of low-cost, high-quality bulk GaN substrates. During 15 years at GE Global Research and 7 years at Rice University, he and his groups investigated synthesis, processing, and applications of a range of electronic materials, including GaN, diamond, silicon, and radiation-detector materials. He holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry and 50+ US patents, has published 80+ papers and book chapters, is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and has served as principal investigator on 15+ grants and contracts.
Dr. Raring's early work focused on the successful development of a high-functionality photonic integrated circuit platform for high-speed telecom applications. In 2008 he joined Soraa as a founding employee where he established key infrastructure and helped grow the company. As Vice President of Laser Engineering he is leading the commercialization of state-of-the-art blue and green laser diodes based on nonpolar/semipolar GaN. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the UC Santa Barbara and has authored or co-authored over 100 technical papers and presentations.
Jack brings over 30 years of HR management experience in the technology and consumer sectors, in companies at differing stages of development from startup through rapid growth and maturing organizations. Before coming to Soraa he headed the HR function for SMART Modular Technologies leading program implementation and supporting operations in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
Before joining Soraa, Wilfred spent 13 years at Intel, primarily focused on the consumer electronics and embedded markets. His team established the Smart TV category through the launch of Google TV and Yahoo TV products from Sony, Toshiba and others. Wilfred also founded Vistify, a startup focused on solutions for the digital home and incubated by Panasonic. Wilfred holds a BSEE from Bangalore University, India, an MSEE from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Frank joined Soraa in 2009 as VP LED Package Development where he pioneered Soraa micro GaN array packaging technology. He then founded the LED Lamp group and directed the technology and business strategy for the LED MR16 product family. Before Soraa, he worked in several Silicon Valley optical startups including Bridgelux, Altamar Network, SDL Inc, Radiance Design and Luximo, where he developed the industry most efficient LED Desk Lamp, winning the DOE Lighting For Tomorrow Award. Frank has over 50 patents and patents pending in the optics field.
Eran joined Soraa in April 2011. He has 18 years of experience as Senior Finance and Operations leader. He is an expert in cost, forecasting, and contract manufacturer management. Before coming to Soraa he worked in the Telecom and Network industries at Telrad Networks and 2Wire. He holds BA in Economics from Haifa University and an MBA from Bar-Ilan University, both in Israel
Sudhir Chopra joined Soraa in July 2012 as Vice President of Operations. With a career spanning over 25 years in the semiconductor industry, Sudhir most recently held Senior Management level positions at Maxim Integrated Products and Lam Research Corporation. At Maxim, he directed Process Engineering teams for developing next generation process technologies. At Lam Research he managed the Customer Technical Liaison activities. Sudhir earned his M.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana and his B.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
Susan joined Soraa in 2010 as Director of Sales and helped to start the Lamps Division. She brings extensive lighting industry experience, with key roles in LED companies such as Lynk Labs, Led Engin, Exclara, and Neo Neon. She is also the former CEO of iLight Technologies, a leader in innovative LED solutions. Susan received her MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Psychology and Neurobiology from Northwestern University.
An internationally recognized lighting expert with over 30 years of global industry experience, Nick brings a wide range of lighting knowledge of lamps, fixtures and applications to the Soraa team. He previously held senior executive roles at Sylvania, Thorn, and Zumtobel Lighting, working through all channels from International project specification to general wholesale distribution and retail. He led the successful bid teams on leading International projects as diverse as London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and Wembley International Football Stadium. Nick holds a BEng from Middlesex University.
Nahid Joined Soraa in January 2012 and established the Quality Organization. Before Soraa she spent 25 years at Seagate Technology, primarily focused in Recording Media Operations and Engineering. Her most recent position was an Executive Director with global responsibilities. Her team delivered millions of dollars cost reduction/process improvements to Seagate through the application of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing in US, Asia and Europe. She holds a BS in Chemistry from California State University Hayward and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Khosla Ventures: a venture capital firm run by people who listen to, analyze, and advise entrepreneurs. We manage a main fund that supports early- and late-stage investments and a seed fund for developing very early-stage experiments. We focus on next-generation energy projects, new materials, mobility, the Internet and silicon technology. Our firm was established in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, who helped turn a computer science project into Sun Microsystems, a multibillion-dollar phenomenon.
Founded in 2001, NGEN Partners is a pioneering investor in the cleantech sector. They invest in early to late stage businesses that offer economically valuable products and services that positively affect the environment. With a history in materials science, NGEN has deep expertise in alternative energy, energy efficiency, pollution abatement and green resources.
Soraa's board of directors includes: