DARPA COSMOS contract extension

06 August 2009

IQE plc (AIM: IQE, “the Group”) the leading manufacturer of advanced semiconductor wafers to the global semiconductor industry, is pleased to announce the commencement of Phase II of a major US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract led by Raytheon Integrated Defense System to develop Compound Semiconductor Materials on Silicon (COSMOS).

The epitaxial growth process is being developed at IQE's Pennsylvania based manufacturing facility.

Phase I of the programme commenced in September 2007 with the goal of developing and demonstrating a viable process to integrate compound semiconductor materials with silicon in order to dramatically improve linearity, dynamic range and bandwidth of radio frequency (RF) devices.

Following the successful completion of the programme, phase II has been awarded to focus on significantly improving both the yield and density of the heterogeneous epitaxial growth of InP HBTs in conjunction with conventional silicon based CMOS processes. The overall program has a target of integrating high-performance compound semiconductors with low-cost commercial complementary metal oxide semiconductor silicon (CMOS) wafers to achieve superior cost-benefit performance compared with either technology on its own.

"Selective placement of semiconductor compounds on silicon is an important achievement because it proves that optimal circuit performance can be produced through a heterogeneous, high-yield, monolithic integration process," said Dr. Tom Kazior, program manager at Raytheon IDS.

Steve Gergar, IQE's Vice President and General Manager in Bethlehem PA said:

"IQE's continued role in this programme demonstrates our reputation for expertise, experience and quality in advanced semiconductor materials manufacturing processes for both current and future applications and maintains our position at the forefront of leading edge semiconductor materials technologies"

IQE is the world's largest contract epiwafer manufacturer with six manufacturing sites across Europe, Asia and the USA.

Other partners in the COSMOS project are Raytheon Systems Limited in Glenrothes, Scotland; Teledyne Scientific Imaging Company in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.; Paradigm Research LLC in Windham, N.H.; Soitec in Grenoble, France; and Silicon Valley Technology Center in San Jose, Calif.

IQE: www.iqep.com
Raytheon: www.raytheon.com/


IQE Press/Investors (+44 29 2083 9400)
Chris Meadows

IQE Technical (+1 610 972 1488)
Amy Liu


Note to Editors

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, ultra high brightness LEDs, a variety of advanced silicon based systems and high efficiency concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) 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 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.