IQE joins European funded “VISIT” programme

07 October 2008

Cardiff, 7th October 2008: IQE, the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafer products and wafer services to the semiconductor industry, has been welcomed as a member of a €3.5 million European programme to develop high-value photonic components for broadband access and local area networks.

Demand for media rich content and high definition video services is increasing consumer bandwidth requirements by over 30% per annum which in turn is expected to increase the demand for optical components by more than 12% CAGR according to industry forecasts.

The Vertically Integrated Systems for Information Transfer (VISIT) programme will last up to three years and will focus on strategic, high-value photonic components and subsystems for scalable economic broadband access and local area networks. The central objective of the VISIT programme is research, development, test and exploitation of system-enabling optical transmitters having a completely novel design and/or largely improved functionality as compared to current technology.

Other members of the VISIT programme are Intel (Ireland), VI Systems (Germany), Chalmers Tekniska (Sweden), The University of Cambridge (UK), University College Cork (Ireland) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia).

Professor Dieter Bimberg of Technische Universitaet in Berlin said:

“It is a pleasure to welcome IQE as a member of the VISIT programme. The unique ability of IQE to supply material developed both by MBE and MOCVD technologies will further strengthen our project.

Upon completion of the programme a full supply chain from production of epitaxial wafers to test beds for measurements and prototype systems will be established. The economic impact of this work will be systematically enhanced by contributing directly to international standardization activities and roadmaps of this area.”

Andrew Joel, Product Director for Optoelectronic Materials at IQE’s Cardiff facility, said:

“IQE brings a wealth of experience in the growth of both edge emitting lasers and VCSELs for optical communications networks. The materials will operate at a range of wavelengths including 850nm (LAN, SAN), 980nm (very short links) and 1.3µm (LAN, Access Networks).”


IQE (+44 29 2083 9400)
Andrew Joel

Chris Meadows


IQE plc is this year celebrating its twentieth anniversary as the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers with products that cover a diverse range of applications. It is able to provide a 'one stop shop' for the wafer needs of the world's leading compound semiconductor manufacturers, who in turn use these wafers to make the chips which form the key components of virtually every high technology system. IQE has particular focus on the growing global wireless sector for applications including; mobile handsets, wireless infrastructure, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, base stations, GPS and satellite communications; as well as for the optical communication sector including; optical storage (CD, DVD), laser optical mice, laser printers & photocopiers, thermal imagers, leading-edge medical products, bar-coding, high efficiency LEDs and advanced solar cells.

The manufacturers of these chips are increasingly seeking to outsource wafer production to specialist foundries such as IQE in order to reduce overall wafer costs and accelerate time to market. IQE is unique in being able to supply wafers using all of the leading crystal growth technology platforms including Metal Organic Vapour Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE) and Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) and the Group is able to leverage its global purchasing volumes to reduce the cost of raw materials.

IQE also provides bespoke R&D services to deliver customized materials for specific applications and offers specialist technical staff to manufacture to specification either at its own facilities or on the customer's own sites. This is backed by a strategy of duplicating each key product processes over multiple sites to assure customers of security of supply as well as provide compelling customer benefits in terms of flexibility and predictability of cost, thereby significantly reducing operating risk.

IQE operates six manufacturing facilities; two in Cardiff and one in Milton Keynes in the UK; two more in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Somerset, New Jersey in the USA; and its most recent acquisition in Singapore. The Group also has 11 sales offices located in major economic centres worldwide.