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Plessey Aims To Provide GaN-on-Si LEDs With Aixtron Reactor By Year End

The first Aixtron CRIUS II-XL Reactor will be used to set up a process for growing gallium nitride-on-silicon LEDs


Aixtron SE has a new MOCVD system order from Plessey Semiconductors Ltd., UK.

The contract is for the first of a set of production ready CRIUS II-XL reactors in a 7x6-inch wafer configuration. The reactors are dedicated to the growth of high brightness LED wafers based on GaN-on-Silicon materials.

Aixtron’s local support team will install and commission this first reactor before the end of June 2012 in Plessey’s cleanroom facility located in Plymouth, UK.

Barry Dennington, COO of Plessey Semiconductors, comments, “We are on schedule for the production of a world class LED that will become the high performance lighting LED at the price breakthrough the market has been waiting for. We completed the acquisition of the University of Cambridge spin-off company CamGaN in February 2012 and are now installing the capability for the full commercial exploitation of GaN-on-Silicon technology. Furthermore, we will be in early prototype production before the end of Q3 2012 and in full production by Q2 2013."

CamGaN has already developed a six inch GaN-on-Silicon process on a single wafer Thomas Swan reactor and this process will be transferred to Plessey's Plymouth plant onto the new Aixtron reactor. According to sources at Plessey, the firm aims to purchase further reactors once the manufacturing process has been established on the CRIUS II-XL tool.

Neil Harper, HB LED Programme and Product Line Director, adds “The CRIUS II-XL reactor will form the basis of our commencement of full production of materials for LEDs. Plessey’s branded MAGIC (Manufactured on GaNICs) LEDs will be fabricated on large area silicon substrates through our 6-inch integrated circuit fabrication line in Plymouth. Aixtron’s latest CRIUS technology has many advantages that meet our needs, such as the best cost-of-ownership for GaN epi-layer growth on 6-inch silicon substrates and eventually on 8-inch silicon substrates. In addition, we can draw upon the excellent support services in the UK from Aixtron Ltd. and Aixtron Europe.

"Bernd Schulte, COO of Aixtron, adds, “We are very pleased to be able to make this announcement. Plessey is a well-established name in the electronics industry and they are now accelerating the commercial exploitation of one of the most promising areas of epitaxial technology, GaN-on-Silicon. Plessey technology has the potential to transform the LED industry by lowering the cost of LEDs as demanded by the solid state lighting industry. Aixtron is well positioned to meet the challenges provided by Plessey’s technology and looks forward to this exciting next wave of the LED market."

Earlier this year, Plessey announced its plan to bring to market low cost ‘MAGIC’ HB-LED products, initially for the replacement incandescent bulb market, within the next six months. The firm also plans to develop a range of smart-lighting products that incorporate Plessey’s existing unique sensing and control technologies.
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