IQE demonstrates 40GB/s VCSEL technology for next generation optical communications

08 July 2010

Cardiff, UK. 08 July 2010: IQE plc (AIM: IQE, “IQE” or the “Group”), the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor epitaxial wafer products and wafer services to the semiconductor industry, has today published a joint paper in Electronic Letters entitled “40 Gbit/s error-free operation of an oxide-confined 850nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL).”

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The paper reports on the significant demonstration of IQE’s VCSEL materials capability for high data transfer rate optical transmission required for applications such as Active Optical Cables and Intel’s LightPeak.
Existing copper interconnects between consumer devices such as BluRay DVD and High Definition TVs are limited to data transfer rates of 0.48GB/s. Furthermore, transmission distances for copper interconnects decrease significantly at higher transmission rates.
The first generation of optical cables are designed to support data transfer speeds of up to 10GB/s which is well within the 40GB/s demonstrated by IQE and its partners in the European Union funded Vertically Integrated Systems for Information Transfer (VISIT) programme.
The devices demonstrated in this project set a new world record for data transmission at 850nm which is the standard wavelength used for peripheral and LAN optical interconnects.

Mr. Andrew Joel, Product Director said:
IQE has established a clear leadership position in VCSEL technology which has uniquely positioned the group to exploit its expertise in the next generation of high speed optical cables to meet the demands of ever increasing data transfer rates for consumer, industrial, automotive and aerospace applications.
High speed optical interconnects such as Intel’s LightPeak are designed to operate at twenty times the speed of today’s copper technology and will be scalable to 100GB/s in the coming years.
In addition to the higher data speeds, optical connectors can be used over significantly longer distances than would be possible with copper based cables.

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Other members of the VISIT programme are Intel (Ireland), VI Systems (Germany), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), The University of Cambridge (UK), University College Cork (Ireland), The Technical University of Berlin (Germany) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia).
In July 2008 IQE’s epiwafer material was used to demonstrate 25GB/s VCSEL capability as part of the initial phase of the VISIT programme.


IQE plc (+44 29 2083 9400) Press/investors: Chris Meadows (+44 29 2083 9400) Technical/sales: Andrew Joel (+44 29 2083 9400)

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.