IQE Mega Foundry gets first VCSEL order
Full product qualification and first mass production order for Newport foundry for epi materials
IQE has announced that its recently constructed Newport Mega Foundry has received its first mass production order from its leading existing VCSEL customer.
The achievement of full product qualification status is the result of extensive quality and process audits by the customer and their end OEM, as well as exhaustive product qualification trials including full reliability testing. Qualification of further tools is in progress and is expected to complete over the coming months.
In addition to the qualification with this customer, further VCSEL product qualifications are at advanced stages with more than ten other customers, two of which are expected to reach a successful conclusion over the next few weeks.
Customer feedback from the additional qualifications confirms the superior quality and performance from the new facility.
The Newport Mega Foundry is the largest outsource epi facility for advanced compound semiconductors globally and has been under construction for the last 18 months. It currently has ten large-scale production MOCVD tools installed, with space for up to an additional 90 tools. The manufacturing facility also houses an extensive suite of highly advanced wafer characterisation tools to ensure outstanding, world-class wafer quality.
The first ten tools are dedicated to 6 inch VCSEL production for end applications that include 3D sensing, high-speed datacoms, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), LiDAR, proximity sensing and Time of Flight (ToF) systems.
The market for VCSELs is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years as 3D sensing is installed across multiple user platforms, including facial recognition, world facing cameras for Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D photography, security cameras, industrial sensing and heating, ADAS, LiDAR, high speed datacomms and proximity sensing.
Drew Nelson, CEO and president of IQE commented: "I am very pleased to announce IQE receipt of full product qualification status from our leading VCSEL customer, and the first order for mass production from our new Mega Epi foundry in Newport.
"IQE has invested heavily, along with help from the Cardiff City Region Deal (CCR), to build the worlds largest outsource epi facility, demonstrating our commitment to providing the capacity required for large scale deployment of VCSELs and other Compound Semiconductor (CS) products, as the CS industry moves through a real inflection point in volume manufacture.
"IQE is committed to leadership of this mass CS scaling, offering a unique range of wafer products and complementary technologies, enabling our customers to introduce disruptive products to the end marketplace. We have a powerful and extensive roadmap for VCSEL technology, which we believe will help the acceleration of the deployment of VCSELs across many end applications".