IQE delivers 200mm GaN on Silicon Wafers into Singapore-MIT next generation CMOS program

31 March 2014

Shutterstock 81988132A

Cardiff, UK. and Singapore 31 March 2014: IQE plc (AIM: IQE, “IQE” or the “Group”), the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafer products and services, announces it has delivered the first 200mm (8”) GaN on Silicon wafers into the Singapore-MIT Low Energy Electronic Systems (SMART-LEES) program.

Conventional CMOS is now rapidly reaching fundamental limits of silicon performance despite the ever decreasing transistor linewidths and highly complex architectures being deployed by leading Semiconductor companies globally. This has lead to many leading Foundries and IDMs actively developing Compound Semiconductor on Silicon (CSoS) technologies in order to exploit the highly advantageous electronic, optical and power handling properties of Compound Semiconductors, whilst continuing to use the scale and cost structure of existing silicon semiconductor fabs. The SMART-LEES program in Singapore is a signficant initiative, developing, among other technologies, a comprehensive array of CSoS technologies to facilitate complete monolithic integration of CMOS and Compound Semiconductor circuits, in a way that allows the processing of the wafers through conventional 200mm CMOS processing lines. In addition, design libraries will be developed to allow widespread adoption of these technologies across multiple end markets.

IQE has developed and delivered 200mm GaN on Silicon High Electron Mobility (HEMT) wafers, which have been delivered to this program to enable the realisation of a new generation of RF device architectures, integrated with highly efficient power control circuitry. It is expected that further collaboration will quickly lead to a wide variety of other compound semiconductor combinations to be realised as part of the full array of CSoS technologies.

Project leader, Gene Fitzgerald, Merton C Fleming Professor of Materials Science at MIT commented:
“It has been clear for some time that conventional CMOS is no longer capable of continuing Moore’s law. The ever increasing capital intensity of narrowing linewidths, coupled with the rapidly reducing performance benefit, means a new paradigm needs to be introduced. Compound Semiconductors fully integrated on a Silicon platform is a highly optimal solution, taking advantage of both the greatly superior performance of Compound Semiconductors in many applications, coupled with the cost benefits of the existing Silicon Fab infrastructure. Our program fully integrates III-V devices into the silicon design platform, resulting in the ability to develop fundamentally new circuit designs for a wide-range of applications. We are very happy to be working together with IQE, the leading Compound Semiconductor materials company to realise the creation of next generation CMOS platforms.”

Dr Drew Nelson, President and CEO of IQE added:
“It is a great privilege to be working with such a highly talented team within the SMART alliance, on technologies which will drive a new phase of growth in the Semiconductor Industry. Compound Semiconductors have always been the next obvious choice to carry forward the silicon industry, and we are very excited about being a major part of the next revolution in fully integrated CMOS technology, bringing the next leap in performance across a great range of technologies.”

IQE (+44 29 2083 9400)
MIT (+1 617 258 7461)
SMART LEES (+1 617 258 7461)

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, 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 a number of manufacturing and R&D facilities facilities worldwide.