CARDIFF, United Kingdom, Jan. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IQE plc (AIM: IQE; "IQE", "the Group"), the leading global supplier of advanced wafer products and wafer services to the semiconductor industry, announces that it is to play a key part in a consortium of high tech businesses and academia in a major Clean Energy Initiative announced yesterday in North Carolina by the U.S. President.
President Obama announced the formation of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute during a visit to North Carolina State University on Wednesday 15th January. The establishment of the institute will be led by North Carolina State University and industry partners include ABB, APEI, Avogy, Cree, Delphi, Delta Products, DfR Solutions, Gridbridge, Hesse Mechantronics, II-VI, IQE, John Deere, Monolith Semiconductor, RF Micro Devices, Toshiba International, Transphorm, USCi, and Vacon.
The formation of the Institute is part of the U.S. Government's National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Initiatives (NNMI) announced by The White House in February 2013 to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.
IQE has been selected as supplier of epitaxial materials to the consortium for the development of a 150mm GaN-on-Si power electronics capability for high voltage (600V to 1200V) applications, an award which is worth up to $4M over the next five years. GaN-on-Silicon is a key materials technology not only for highly efficient power semiconductors with applications ranging from everyday power supplies for consumer electronics to industrial motor controls and hybrid-electric vehicles, but also for RF applications in next generation base station and small cell RF communication networks, as well as highly cost efficient LEDs, high speed rail and other power efficient applications.
Gallium nitride has been a key materials technology initiative for IQE over the last few years, building on the acquisition of NanoGaN in 2010, Kopin Wireless in 2013, and the successful development and deployment of GaN on SiC technology for high power RF applications, culminating in the launch of the world's first 150mm GaN-on-SiC wafer products in 2013.
Commenting on the announcement, IQE CEO and President, Dr. Drew Nelson said:
"Yesterday's announcement is a great endorsement of IQE's recognition as a global leader in advanced semiconductor products and highlights the importance of materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) as a key enabling technology for the future.
IQE has built a diversified portfolio of advanced compound semiconductor products which are now beginning to impact many aspects of today's and tomorrow's advanced technologies targeting wireless communications, opto electronics, InfraRed and Xray detection, clean energy generation (CPV), power efficient devices and next generation CMOS.
Compound semiconductors offer limitless access and solutions to next generation societal challenges, and IQE is positioned as the global leader in the commercialisation of these new technologies."
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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 ('epiwafers') 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; and optical communications.
The Group also manufactures advanced optoelectronic and photonic components such as semiconductor lasers, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and optical sensors for a wide range of applications including optical fibre communications, optical storage (CD, DVD, BluRay), thermal imaging, leading-edge medical products, pico-projection, finger navigation ultra-high brightness LEDs, and high efficiency concentrated 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 across Europe, Asia and the USA. The Group also delivers its products and services through regional sales offices located in major economic centres worldwide