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Taiwan foundry ups capacity with Aixtron kit

Visual Photonics Epitaxy places an order for two large MOCVD reactors.

Taiwan-based independent epiwafer foundry Visual Photonics Epitaxy (VPEC) is scaling up its production capacity significantly.

The company, which is based in Ping-Jen City, Taoyuan, has ordered two large MOCVD reactors from the German equipment vendor Aixtron.

The AIX 2600 G3 tools can be configured for either microelectronic component (HBT/HEMT) or LED manufacturing, with three different options - 12x4-inch, 7x6-inch and 49x2-inch - all available.

With demand for GaAs-based microelectronics showing continued strength, manufacturers such as Skyworks Solutions are increasingly using their foundry partners to meet their customers needs.

When interviewed by Compound Semiconductor magazine at the CS Mantech event held in Vancouver in April this year, VPEC indicated that it had already made plans to expand its capacity (see related story).

And while consolidation among Taiwanese makers of high-brightness LEDs continues, the remaining players have invested heavily in new manufacturing equipment in 2006.

UK-based epiwafer foundry IQE, which recently acquired Emcore s electronic materials division and is the largest of the independent suppliers, says that the compound semiconductor industry is turning increasingly to an out-sourced business model as the sector matures.

Companies such as VPEC and IQE are no longer seen as a way to simply "top up" excess wafer demand when required, IQE told Compound Semiconductor magazine earlier this year.

Instead, device manufacturers are building consistent levels of foundry out-sourcing into their manufacturing strategies.

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