IQE joins €15m project to establish a mid-infrared photonics supply chain
19 April 2016
Cardiff, UK, 19 April 2016: IQE plc (AIM: IQE; "IQE", the "Group"), the leading global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafer products and services, has joined a new consortium, MIRPHAB, which will establish a pilot line to serve the growing needs of European industry in the field of analytical micro-sensors. IQE’s role will be to provide consortium partners and commercial customers with a volume source of mid infrared laser epitaxial wafers.
The aim of the MIRPHAB (Mid InfraRed PHotonics devices fABrication for chemical sensing and spectroscopic applications) is to establish a European-based production capability for mid infrared photonics devices. By bringing together high volume epitaxial wafer production facilities at IQE, along with key end users, the consortium will deliver an end-to-end production supply chain for a range of mid-IR devices for a wide range of infrared sensing applications.
Mid-infrared lasers and detectors are a key enabling technology in a wide range of applications where the precise and fast detection of chemicals in gases and liquids is required. The rapid growth in demand for mid-infrared devices will be exploited by the Pilot Line in product areas which include:-
- Measurement and control of environmental pollutants from industrial manufacturing processes and automotive engines.
- Stand-off detection of explosives and biological threats.
- Non-invasive medical diagnosis
- Specialised free space communication systems
In addition, the initiative will provide open access to the European photonics industry, focusing on innovative SMEs, catering for their requirements to prototype a wide range of Mid-IR devices for multiple end use applications.
The €15m Pilot Line for mid-IR devices will receive funding from the both the European Commission’s Photonics Public Private Partnership under the Horizon 2020 program (€13m) and the Swiss Government (€2m) (www.mirphab.eu).
Dr Mark Furlong, VP of IQE’s Infrared Business Unit, commented:
“IQE has established a strong track record in the manufacture of compound semiconductor wafers for laser applications, so we are very pleased to participate in MIRPHAB and provide the consortium with a commercial source of mid infrared epitaxial wafers. With demand for mid infrared devices growing rapidly, supporting the pilot line with a high production volume capability for wafers will be essential”
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 smartphones and wireless infrastructure, Wi-Fi, base stations, GPS, and satellite communications; optical communications, optical storage, printing, 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 multiple manufacturing and R&D facilities facilities worldwide.