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Wireless GaAs technology Ramps Up MOCVD and MBE Equipment Sales

Companies benefiting from the demand for this technology and the ramping LED market include equipment manufacturers Aixtron, Veeco and Riber.

The continued expansion of the LED market was best exemplified through the numerous orders being received by Aixtron and Veeco over the May to August timeframe according to Strategy Analytics.

Its latest report, “Compound Semiconductor Industry Review May-August 2010: Optoelectronics, Materials & Equipment” points out that not all orders were targeted at the LED market. The continued strength of GaAs technology in wireless markets was also a driving factor behind both MOCVD and MBE equipment sales, again benefiting Aixtron as well as Riber.

This was also reflected in the financials at the equipment manufacturers, Veeco Instruments reported revenues of $253.0 million, an increase of 55% sequentially, and net income for Q210 was $52.4 million. About $175m was attributable for MOCVD, after shipping 81 systems. Aixtron reported revenue of €191.8 million (about $254 million), an increase of 24% sequentially and net income was €42.3 million (about $56 million.

LED technology is also ramping up into the general lighting sector as well as automotive with companies releasing both LEDs and lamps.

The ramp-up has also necessitated expansion activities at companies supplying the precursor materials for MOCVD production. Both Akzo-Nobel and Dow Electronic Materials announced plans to expand their TrimethylGallium (TMG) production capacities to meet the surging global demand for the material in the electronics market over the May to August timeframe.

On the laser diode front, Nichia will start shipping green GaN-based laser diodes from August. Also, Intel demonstrated the first 50 Gbps optical data link using silicon optoelectronic technology with hybrid InP infrared laser diodes.

On a related development, IQE reported on the significant demonstration of its VCSEL material capability for high data transfer rate optical transmission required for applications such as Active Optical Cables and Intel’s LightPeak.

Solar technologies also continue to gain ground with developments ranging from the materials through to systems.

Both IQE and EpiWorks demonstrated 6-inch compound semiconductor photovoltaic wafer capabilities while CPV system maker SolFocus held an opening ceremony for what they claim is the largest solar power plant in North America based on CPV systems. A six acre, 1 MW solar power plant will provide power to Victor Valley College from 122 SolFocus SF-1100S CPV arrays.
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