IQE wins funding for next generation broadband access research

20 May 2009

Cardiff, 19th May 2009: IQE, the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafer products and wafer services to the semiconductor industry, is pleased to announce that it has won funding for research into compound semiconductor laser products for the next generation of high speed broadband access devices.

The funding comes from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which is the organisation that drives technological innovation in the UK. The TSB is investing £1 million to help companies carry out initial research that will ultimately lead to the introduction of internet access technology with speeds up to 10Gb/s which is 1,000 times faster than current broadband speeds.

IQE and chip foundry partner CST Global have been collaborating on development of high specification diode laser components for such applications. The partners have been awarded three feasibility studies in the programme in a parallel approach to look at low cost laser sources for uncooled, high speed, extended reach Fibre To The Home (FTTH) applications based on AlInGaAs laser products.

Project lead Dr Wyn Meredith commented:

“We are looking to solve the paradox of producing diode sources with telecoms grade quality with consumer grade pricing for this last link of access to the home. We are already seeing unprecedented growth in InP based epitaxial products driven by FTTH deployment in Asia, and we are preparing to address Next Generation network expansion with high value add foundry products to enable our customers to react quickly.

“This phase of optical network expansion is rewriting the rulebook in terms of the cost - quality equation; we are enabling a new breed of component vendors who have been quick to adopt the foundry model, and are proving far more agile and resilient than their vertically integrated competitors in the current market conditions. Involvement in this programme will result in rapid introduction of standardised foundry epitaxial and fabrication level laser diode solutions which will have proven performance in terms of transmission speed and optical power output, compatible with larger (4”) wafer formats.”


IQE plc +44 29 2083 9400
Chris Meadows
Wyn Meredith

Note to Editors

About IQE

IQE is the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafers with products that cover a diverse range of applications, supported by an innovative outsourced foundry services portfolio that allows the Group to provide a 'one stop shop' for the wafer needs of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers.

IQE uses advanced crystal growth technology (epitaxy) to manufacture and supply bespoke semiconductor wafers ('epi-wafers') to the major chip manufacturing companies, who then use these wafers to make the chips which form the key components of virtually all high technology systems. IQE is unique in being able to supply wafers using all of the leading crystal growth technology platforms.

IQE's products are found in many leading-edge consumer, communication, computing and industrial applications, including a complete range of wafer products for the wireless industry, such as mobile handsets and wireless infrastructure, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, base stations, GPS, and satellite communications; optical communications, optical storage (CD, DVD), laser optical mouse, laser printers & photocopiers, thermal imagers, leading-edge medical products, barcode, high efficiency LEDs and a variety of advanced silicon based systems.

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 also provides bespoke R&D services to deliver customised 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. The Group is also able to leverage its global purchasing volumes to reduce the cost of raw materials. In this way IQE's outsourced services, provide compelling benefits in terms of flexibility and predictability of cost, thereby significantly reducing operating risk.

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

About CSTG

CSTG is a ‘pure play’ semiconductor foundry specialising in the design, development, and manufacture of discrete and integrated III-V opto-electronic devices, based in Glasgow, UK.

Since 1999, CSTG has provided specialist foundry services to clients in the Telecommunications, Defence, Medical and Instrumentation markets.
We offer full product support from design to manufacturing, levered off a comprehensive library of qualified fabrication processes and a suite of high performance device platforms.
Today CSTG serves both fabless and vertically integrated customers in UK, US, Europe and Japan, and is recognised as a flagship project for the UK opto-electronics industry.