Our history

Strategic growth and global positioning

IQE's pedigree dates back to 1988 when its first MOCVD based manufacturing operation was established in Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Between 1988 and 1998, the Cardiff based operation underwent steady growth, primarily servicing the optical communications markets with its broad range of photonic products and versatile business model. IQE's photonic products were used by a wide range of customers to produce light emitters and detectors such as LEDs, lasers and photodetectors.

In 1999, the Cardiff MOCVD operation was complemented by the addition of an established North American facility to form the world's leading epiwafer group offering the widest range of compound semiconductor wafer products.


Based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the US operation focussed on radio frequency (RF) components for the growing mobile communications markets which complemented the range of optical telecommunications products produced by the Cardiff operation.

Shortly after the Cardiff and Bethlehem operations joined forces, the newly formed IQE group underwent an IPO and raised capital for an ambitious expansion programme.


Following its IPO in 1999, the group added an established, UK based substrate manufacturer to its portfolio and also formed a separate facility in Cardiff to concentrate on silicon based epitaxial services.


In 2006, the group's strategy to firmly establish itself as the world leading epiwafer supplier with a truly global manufacturing presence was strengthened when two further manufacturing operations joined the group; the first in Somerset, New Jersey and the second in Singapore, Asia.

The Group added significant new intellectual property to its portfolio in 2009 with the acquisition of NanoGan Ltd., a spin-out of Bath University. This was followed in 2010 with the acquisition of Spokane, WA based Galaxy Semiconductors which significantly extended the group's inra-red product offering of gallium antimonide (GaSb) and indium antimonide (InSb) materials by facilitating access to US markets.Galaxyext

In 2012, IQE announced the acquisition of the epitaxial business of Kopin Inc. This followed the acquisition of RFMD’s epitaxial division the same year. These transactions consolidated the group market leadership.


The acquisition of the North Carolina, Massachussets and Taiwan operations created opportunities for the group to both gain new customers whilst allowing synergies across the Group to be recognised through greater cost savings through enhanced operational efficiencies.

In 2014 the Group announced a consolidation move through the formation of a joint venture in Singapore which saw the transfer of assets to a new innovation centre (Compound Semiconductor Development Centre - CSDC) providing IQE with access to world class technology and IP in new and emerging technologies that will continue to benefit the Group in the years and decades ahead.