£10m award creates Compound Semiconductor hub
5 December 2016
A £10m award announced today puts Cardiff University at the forefront of research into cutting-edge Compound Semiconductor (CS) technologies.
The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will bring UK academics and industry together in hub of CS expertise.
The EPSRC Manufacturing Hub in Future Compound Semiconductors will work closely with the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) – a partnership between Cardiff and global advanced semiconductor wafer manufacturer IQE.
A further 26 initial companies and organisations allied to the Hub will help Cardiff and Wales capitalise on the £50m CS Applications Catapult announced by Innovate UK in January.
Julie James, Welsh Government Minister for Skills and Science, said: “The Welsh Government has innovation at the heart of its Strategy..."
"The Hub will shine a global spotlight on Wales and is an exemplar of how the Welsh Government's Smart approach to innovation will benefit the people and businesses of Wales."
Silicon once supported the information society, but the technology is reaching fundamental limits in the 21st Century. Applying CS knowhow to silicon manufacturing techniques will form the central focus for the new venture.
Hub Director, Professor Peter Smowton, said “The Hub will provide Europe-leading facilities that will translate research into large-scale CS growth and device fabrication..."
Drew Nelson, CEO of Cardiff headquartered IQE, said: “IQE produced CS materials for 10 billion wireless chips last year, underpinning the worldwide mobile communications industry. The Hub will allow us to exploit the highly advantageous electronic, magnetic, optical and power handling properties of Compound Semiconductors while utilising the cost and scaling advantage of silicon technology where it fits best.”
Another Hub project partner, the US-based optical components manufacturer Oclaro, had 50% quarter on quarter growth in 100 Gbit transceiver products, developed and manufactured in the UK, supporting internet communication.
The Hub’s goal is to grow long-term future partnerships with UK and international companies and academics.
Peter Smowton added: “We are open to interactions with new partner companies and universities, and we can provide opportunities through feasibility project funding calls to kick-start future partnerships with the power to change the way we live.”