IQE plc wins major epi-wafer supply contract from Philips

24 October 2013

Cardiff, UK. 24 October 2013: IQE plc (AIM: IQE; “IQE”, “the Group”) announces the signing of an initial three-year supply contract with Philips Technologie GmbH (“Philips”) for epi-wafers used for the manufacturing of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) devices.

VCSELs are semiconductor laser chips which can be produced in mass scale, in a similar process flow to LED chips, thus opening the way for a very cost effective, high performance laser devices, which can be used in a wide variety of applications, including optical data communication, industrial sensing, illumination, gesture recognition and heating applications.

Together with partners like IQE plc, Philips aims to scale up its activities in order to meet the increasing worldwide demand in solid state lasers.

IQE uses advanced crystal growth technology (epitaxy) to manufacture and supply bespoke epi-wafers to major laser manufacturing companies. IQE is unique in being able to supply wafers using all of the leading crystal growth technology platforms.

The supply contract adds significantly to IQE’s photonics business, underlines the long term relationship between the two companies and reflects the strengthening market for photonic devices. The contract, which provides IQE with the majority supply of epi-wafers to Philips, is renewable after the initial three year term, and also includes a joint development agreement.

Dr Joseph Pankert, General Manager of Philips Photonics, said:

VCSELs are expected to show rapid growth in the coming years. This growth is driven by a variety of applications and Philips is committed to address the growing demand. Teaming up with IQE is an essential element of our growth strategy and enables us to meet the required volume and quality levels.

Dr Drew Nelson, CEO of IQE plc, said:

IQE is delighted to have teamed up with Philips in the development of a range of world leading photonic products. Many of the applications that are enabled by IQE’s VCSEL wafers are at an inflection point where growth is expected to significantly ramp up over the coming months and years. IQE is able to offer many attractive USP’s, including a comprehensive product range, scale of operation, multiple manufacturing locations, and long experience in LD epi-wafer manufacturing


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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 ('epiwafers') 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; and optical communications.

The Group also manufactures advanced optoelectronic and photonic components such as semiconductor lasers, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and optical sensors for a wide range of applications including optical fibre communications, optical storage (CD, DVD, BluRay), thermal imaging, leading-edge medical products, pico-projection, finger navigation ultra-high brightness LEDs, and high efficiency concentrated 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 a number of manufacturing and R&D facilities across Europe, Asia and the USA. The Group also delivers its products and services through regional sales offices located in major economic centres worldwide.