The IQE Group is clearly recognised as the leading global supplier of advanced wafer products and wafer services to the semiconductor industry.
IQE Megafoundry at Newport, UK.
IQE market leadership and competitive advantages enable the group to provide a unique service that is second to none.
IQE’s vision strategy and delivery
It is IQE’s vision to maintain and grow our established position as the leading global provider of advanced semiconductor materials – the global “go to” compound semiconductor materials specialist.
To realise this vision requires the ability to deliver “enabling technology”, which meets the performance and price points needed for adoption, and which can be delivered reliably, on-time, every-time with the ability to scale rapidly.
IQE is extremely well positioned to rise to this challenge, having built the broadest portfolio of materials IP in the industry, and developed a unique platform for a secure low-cost supply. Moreover, IQE has developed a reputation to match – for excellence and reliability.
We have established a global manufacturing platform and a breadth of IP and know how relating to the design and manufacture of advanced materials that is second to none. We have been unwavering in our vision and have developed a robust strategy which gives us confidence over the growth prospects of the business and our ability to create shareholder value.
Inside the IQE Megafoundry at Newport, UK.
Our business model
The pioneer in outsourcing
The first industrial revolution ushered in an era of large, vertically integrated enterprises. During the middle of the 20th century, process specialisation became a major competitive advantage and saw the introduction of outsourcing.
New industry sectors may adopt vertically integrated business models out of necessity, but as those industries mature, specialisation becomes a key strategic advantage.
Early silicon chip manufacturers found it necessary to set up complete vertically integrated supply chains to source each part of the production process from raw materials through to a final packaged product.
As the silicon chip industry matured, the sector saw the emergence of businesses specialising in different parts of the process to the extent that there now exist a large number of “fabless” companies who outsource the entire production process to large specialists such as TSMC and Global Foundries.
Pioneering specialisation within the compound semiconductor industry
The compound semiconductor industry shares similar attributes with the silicon chip industry. Some of the processes such as epitaxy require large scale investment, complex infrastructure support in the form of cleanrooms, environmental controls and most importantly, highly specialised skills and expertise.
In 1988, IQE, then EPI, became the first compound semiconductor materials company to recognise the potential value in offering specialised outsourcing of compound semiconductor wafers and has witnessed an increasing trend towards this model over its thirty-year history.
By specialising in the complex epitaxy process, IQE offers its customers economies of scale, access to leading edge technology at the same time as leaving them with the ability to do what they do best: design and refine their products.
The high level of investment means that IQE’s business is highly operationally geared which facilitates significant scope for profitability once sales contribution exceeds fixed costs. The last decade has demonstrated an unprecedented number of key industry suppliers selecting outsourcing as a key business advantage.
IQE operates in a highly competitive, fast-moving environment at the leading edge of technology.
IQE has established a strong leadership position in the market for compound semiconductor materials. Our leadership has been built around an unparalleled breadth of IP, in contrast to IQE’s competitors who operate within the constraints of narrow IP portfolios and inferior research and development capabilities. Uniquely, this makes IQE a “one stop shop” for our products at a time when the market is increasingly seeking multiple material solutions to meet expanding and diverse end markets.
We believe that our broad product portfolio across multi-site operations represents a powerful competitive advantage in a market where qualification barriers are high, and microscopic variations in wafer crystals can have dramatic adverse operational and financial implications downstream.
Breadth of technology
As a pioneer of compound semiconductor technology, IQE has developed an unparalleled and comprehensive breadth of technology and advanced production platforms.
During our thirty-year history, we have also developed an unparalleled depth of specialised process know-how and expertise in the development and manufacture of highly advanced semiconductor materials technologies.
In addition to our process know-how, we add further value by offering innovative new products and technologies that enhance our customers’ competitive advantages. This is represented in our increasing intellectual property portfolio and widely recognised technology leadership.
Through both organic growth and acquisition, IQE has established clear technology leadership and created a virtuous circle, which continues to attract the brightest and best talent in our industry.