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Cardiff partners £1.3m CS project

19 August 2019

Cardiff compound semiconductor

A Cardiff University venture to develop Compound Semiconductors (CS) is partnering with a £1.3m Welsh Government funded project to innovate new CS technologies.

The Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC), backed by Cardiff and global CS chip manufacturer IQE, will partner with a host of Welsh organisations to find new applications for CS devices - from autonomous vehicles to clean energy, future mobility, Artificial Intelligence, biosensors, wearable sensors and advanced packaging.

The ASSET project (Application Specific Semiconductor Etching Technology) is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and funded by Welsh Government’s Smart Expertise programme.

It is an industrially driven, collaborative project with partners across South Wales including SPTS Technologies, IQE, CSC, Biovici, BioMEMS, Swansea and Cardiff Universities plus Manchester-based Integrated Compound Semiconductors Ltd.

CSC director, Dr Wyn Meredith, said: “The South Wales semiconductor industry employs over 1400 highly skilled people in the region and is set to expand rapidly over the next 5 years with the development of 5G, AI and other mega-trend markets. ASSET will support these developments by developing a range of advanced semiconductor processes and expertise to overcome technical and industry challenges.”

The ASSET industrial partners provide globally leading technologies which go into almost all the world’s leading smartphones. By developing a host of new semiconductor process technologies, ASSET will develop these technologies for Compound Semiconductors and next generation semiconductor materials, to service new emerging applications in automotive sensing, 5G, photonics and healthcare.

The ASSET project follows the recent announcement of the £90M Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials (CISM) - a new state-of-the-art semiconductor facility to be built at Swansea.

Professor Owen Guy, Swansea University’s Head of Chemistry and project lead said: “The ASSET project is another example of the South Wales Semiconductor Cluster working together to deliver world-class technology and drive economic growth for Wales.”

Kevin Crofton, President of SPTS Technologies said: “The ASSET project gives the consortium the ability to work with the extensive fabrication supply chain in the region to further expand our capabilities and capitalise on new and exciting market opportunities.”

Professor Peter Smowton, Managing Director of Cardiff University’s Institute for Compound Semiconductors, added: “We look forward to working collaboratively with all ASSET partners to turn research into new manufacturing technologies that can drive the CS Connected cluster brand and bring highly skilled, well paid jobs to South Wales.”

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