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Cardiff’s compound semiconductor cluster could create 5000 jobs

Semiconductor wafer supplier, IQE and Cardiff University have partnered to create the world’s first compound semiconductor (CS) technology cluster with events in Westminster and Cardiff next month.The cluster, which has the potential to create 5000 jobs, will launch the
Semiconductor wafer supplier, IQE and Cardiff University have partnered to create the world’s first compound semiconductor (CS) technology cluster with events in Westminster and Cardiff next month.


The cluster, which has the potential to create 5000 jobs, will launch the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) for the development and commercialisation of next generation CS technologies.

Four significant clusters based around silicon technologies already exist in Europe, but CSC – based in Cardiff - will be the first to build upon the potential of CS. These are vital components used in many of today's high-tech applications including communications networks and devices such as smartphones and tablets.

With high performance capabilities, coupled with energy efficiency and photonic properties, CS’s are hailed as a key enabling technology for increased productivity and the key economic growth drivers identified in the European Commission’s ‘Horizon 2020’ economic growth strategy, aimed at the reindustrialisation of the EU.

The partnership will see Cardiff-based IQE working closely with Cardiff University’s £40million Institute of Compound Semiconductors (ICS).

Dr Drew Nelson, chief executive of IQE, said: “One of the big problems in the UK today in terms of advanced technologies is that a great deal of investment has gone into early stage research that so often goes on to be developed elsewhere.

“We frequently fail to take the steps needed to commercialise the research and development activities through innovation and manufacturing. This is why we are looking to create the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster.”

The CSC is jointly owned and jointly controlled by Cardiff University and IQE. To date, Cardiff University has contributed £12m to the venture, with IQE committing hardware, buildings and infrastructure as well as licensing certain intellectual property to the CSC.

The ICS forms part of Cardiff University’s £300m investment in new research and innovation centres, and its potential is already recognised by the Welsh and UK governments, who have invested over £29m towards its creation.

Professor Diana Huffaker, director of Cardiff University’s ICS, said: “Not only will this joint venture help foster education at all levels but it will help create jobs within Cardiff and Wales. CSC/ICS will be open for business for any interested industrial and academic users."


Nov 21, 2015 11:34
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