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UK foundry CST lands $3.4m investment

New equity finance and restructured long-term debt will help the wafer and chip foundry meet growing optoelectronic demand.

Compound Semiconductor Technologies (CST) Global, the Scottish foundry company, is to upgrade its manufacturing equipment thanks to new financing.

Backed with £2.15 million ($3.4 million) from a combination of the private equity group European Digital Partners (EDP) and Scottish Enterprise's co-investment fund, the company will invest the cash in equipment such as new stepper lithography kit.

CST chief executive Neil Martin told compoundsemiconductor.net that this would enable it to make more complex devices, and offer improved quality and service to customers.

Martin added that CST had benefited from growing demand for 1310 nm and 1550 nm lasers in recent months, thanks to increased deployment of fiber-optic links to provide broadband communication services.

As well as the new equity to bolster its financial position, CST has restructured £1.85 million of long-term debt.

The investment follows the recent award of a collaborative £1 million development contract to provide devices for next-generation local broadband access, research that will be supported by the new funding.

CST is also involved in three of the UK s recently announced "ultra fast broadband" projects (see related story), short-term efforts focused on developing a coherent plan for next-generation telecommunications.

"We ve had an incredibly successful few quarters of trading and this additional funding will enable us to expand our capabilities and enhance our service offering," Martin said.

"There is no doubt that this investment will allow us to strengthen our position of being a volume supplier of complex quality products."

After installing the new equipment, CST should be able to benefit from increased demand for III-V devices used in telecoms, sensing and defense applications.

A specialist in optoelectronics, CST was spun out of III-V expertise developed at local Scottish universities in 1999.

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