News Article

Welsh Compound Semiconductor Cluster Strengthened By Multiple R&D Wins

The vision to establish the South Wales region as the World's first Compound Semiconductor Cluster is gaining significant traction with a number of recent research, development and innovation wins by businesses and academic institutions based in the region.

Compound semiconductors have already made a major impact on the way that we communicate as they enable high-speed communications and are found in every smartphone and internet enabled communications device. The advanced technology is also used in a wide range of sensor devices that range from proximity sensing and laser focusing deployed in smartphones and cameras, to 3D sensing, optical and RF communications, healthcare technologies, aerospace and security applications through to autonomous vehicles.

Compound semiconductors are central to a host of next generation technologies that are currently under development and are set to change the way we live, work and spend our leisure time over the coming decades.

Recent awards announced by Innovate UK demonstrate the high level of technology activities in the region with South Wales based organisations representing the highest proportion of compound semiconductor related awards across the UK.

The volume of compound semiconductor related contract wins across the region clearly indicates that the vision to create the world's first Compound Semiconductor Cluster is rapidly gaining widespread recognition and South Wales is being seen as the "go-to" place for the development, innovation and manufacture of advanced compound semiconductor related products.

Dr Wyn Meredith, Director of the Compound Semiconductor Centre in Cardiff, a joint venture between IQE plc and Cardiff University commented: "We are delighted with the breadth of projects supported by Innovate UK, clearly demonstrating that the vision to create the world's first Compound Semiconductor in Wales is now transitioning to the delivery of tangible innovation activities and supply chain co-operation."

Skills and Science Minister, Julie James said: "Building Wales' already impressive research and development capabilities are key priorities for the Welsh Government and it is excellent news that so many Welsh organisations have been successful in securing funding for research and innovation in this key enabling technology.

"Clearly our on-going investment in further developing the cluster and supporting truly transformative projects with Innovate UK is paying dividends and we are beginning to see the economic benefits from this support."

Paul Mason, Director of Emerging and Enabling Technologies at Innovate UK, said:
"It's fantastic to see so many innovative projects arising from the compound semiconductor cluster in South Wales. The high success rate, in some very competitive competitions, highlights the strength of the cutting-edge research and technology within the cluster, and the collaborative approach between academia and industry."

An overview of some of the projects awarded is available on the Compound Semiconductor Centre website at

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Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

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We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.

Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.



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