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IQE Places Orders For Up To Eight New Multi-wafer MBE Production Systems

Bethlehem, PA. IQE, the world s largest "pure play" outsource supplier of custom epiwafers to the Compound Semiconductor industry, has announced that it has placed firm orders for six (6), with options on up to two (2) additional next generation multi-wafer Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) production systems. These next generation systems are capable of producing multiple 6" wafers per process run, with four times the capacity of existing systems, as well as having the capability of producing 4" wafers much more cost effectively than existing production platforms. These orders add to the current VG150 system that is currently in operation at IQE.

Tom Hierl, IQE - Chief Executive Officer commented, "Currently the standard wafer size in the electronics sector of the Compound Semiconductor Industry is four inch. However, most of the leading component manufacturers have announced their plans to move to six inch manufacturing, starting the 1st Quarter 2000, and new entrants to the marketplace are starting directly with six inch manufacturing. The manufacturing efficiencies obtained by using six inch wafers are such that we believe all of the major manufacturers will have to move to this platform to remain competitive. Therefore, the industry will require a large number of six inch epitaxial wafers over the coming years and these equipment purchases clearly demonstrate IQE s intent to be the world leading six inch wafer supplier .

This type of change occurs once every five to seven years and means the entire industry will eventually be forced to adopt to new manufacturing platforms, since they are much more cost effective for both 4" and 6" production.

These purchases ensure IQE will be in the vanguard of this new production era, and at present the orders placed by IQE represent over 50% of the total orders placed to date for such equipment. IQE is already operating the World s largest multi-wafer 6" system, the VG150, and has supplied customers with both 4" and 6" production wafers for qualification.

The next generation system orders are split between the two leading equipment manufacturers, VG Semicon and Riber, in order to manage risk and to cater for certain customers who prefer certain manufacturing systems.

Quantum Epitaxial Designs (QED), Bethlehem PA and Epitaxial Products International (EPI), Cardiff Wales are members of the IQE plc group of companies, the world s leading "Pure Play" merchant supplier for electronic and optoelectronic epiwafers.

QED is the world leading merchant supplier of Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) epitaxial wafers (3", 4" and 6") consisting of GaAs, AlGaAs and InGaAs, on GaAs and InP substrates, for MESFET, HEMT, PHEMT, HBT, laser, and Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIP). QED epiwafers are utilized in wireless and satellite communication, wireless cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) television, radar, automotive, and infrared sensor applications.

EPI is the world leading merchant supplier of custom III-V epiwafer structures covering optoelectronic and electronic applications. Major product lines include epiwafers for telecommunication lasers, LEDs, and detectors, AlGaAs lasers for CD-ROM and high power applications, visible lasers for DVD, laser pointers, barcode scanners, and laser printers. EPI is the premiere worldwide merchant epiwafer supplier for Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSEL), at infrared and visible wavelengths, for short-haul fibre links, CD-ROM and other key applications.

Additional information is available at the IQE website - www.iqeplc.com, or by contating Jim McKeown ([email protected]).



E-mail: ([email protected]

Web site: http://www.iqeplc.com



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