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BluGlass enters $1.775M contract with NCSU


Contract is part of $39.4M US DoD's CLAWS Hub

Australia- based BluGlass has signed a $1.775 million (AU$2.6 million) contract with North Carolina State University (NCSU) for BluGlass’ laser development as part of the Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (CLAWS) Hub. This initial contract is for development work in FY241 and supports the Microelectronics Commons program.

Established by the US Department of Defense, the Microelectronics Commons is a collaborative capability-building program for defence and dual use technologies, allocated $2B of CHIPS and Science Act funding. Led by NCSU, the CLAWS Hub is one of eight innovation hubs under the Microelectronics Commons program and has been awarded $39.4M for the base year of performance. The CLAWS hub comprises seven members, including BluGlass, Coherent, Wolfspeed, General Electric, Adroit Materials, Kyma, and North Carolina A&T State University.

Under its FY24 contract, BluGlass is developing single frequency DFB lasers as well as advancing its violet (405nm, 420nm) and blue (450nm) single-mode lasers. If BluGlass is successful in securing additional core development contracts over the CLAWS program, its collaborative role may include the development of ultra-violet through to green single-mode lasers, single frequency DFB lasers, and Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs).

In addition to the core programs and funding, BluGlass is eligible to participate in specialist projects through the CLAWS Hub. These high-priority projects are focused on expanded GaN wavelengths, epitaxy and process development, and high value devices for quantum applications that may be submitted for funding opportunities by the broader US$2B Microelectronics Commons.

BluGlass CEO Jim Haden said: “We are thrilled to have secured our first contract as part of the CLAWS Hub, where we will be collaborating with recognised industry leaders to develop and commercialise next-generation wide-bandgap photonic and optoelectronic devices.

“This core development contract for FY24 aligns with BluGlass’ GaN expertise and supports our longer-term product roadmaps, leveraging the benefits of our proprietary RPCVD technology. Our laser development within the CLAWS Hub has the potential to create significant advancements across our target verticals, including materials processing, sensing, quantum applications, and critical defence capabilities. At the same time, our collaboration with NCSU and Microelectronics Commons provides BluGlass with growing revenues and industry profile, specifying us as an approved US commercial manufacturing supplier of GaN laser epitaxy, fabrication, packaging, and testing. The collaboration with NCSU as part of the CLAWS Hub has the potential to become a game-changing partnership over the next five years.”

Director of the CLAWS Hub, and Distinguished Professor of ECE John Muth said: “Part of the purpose of CLAWS is to accelerate the development of dual use technologies. BluGlass is an important part of our roadmap to manipulate UV and visible spectrum light on a chip as a photonic integrated circuit. We see the ability to deliver high quality, reliable single frequency DFB lasers as well as blue and violet lasers to the DoD and the research community as important first steps toward a wide variety of commercial applications.”

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