News Article

Yokogawa Eyes HBT Production With Riber Kit

Japanese optical component manufacturer Yokogawa buys an MBE machine to produce HBT devices.

The Japanese industrial giant Yokogawa has bought a production MBE machine from France-based Riber.

The MBE49 kit, which supports manufacturing on multiple 4-inch wafers, will be used to make HBTs for next-generation communication networks.

Yokogawa, which is best known for its industrial control and automation products, is currently building a huge compound semiconductor fabrication facility near Tokyo at a cost of $230 million (see related story).

That facility, which Yokogawa says is on schedule to be completed in November this year, will support manufacturing of an all-optical switch technology that can route signals around a network without the need for electronic conversion.

Network systems company Fujitsu has signed a deal with Yokogawa over the development of these switches that is expected to lead to their deployment in optical networks operating at upwards of 40 Gb/s.

But these switches will not be the only III-V devices produced at this new facility. Last year, Yokogawa indicated to that its sensor products, which are used in places such as nuclear power stations, will also make use of the fab.

With this latest investment in Riber production kit, it appears that the facility will be used to manufacture an increasingly diverse array of compound semiconductor components.

The sale of another production MBE machine will also boost Riber, which is also benefiting from the strong current demand for GaAs HBTs used in cell-phone handset power amplifiers.

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