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IQE Delivers 200mm GaN On Silicon Wafers To Singapore MIT

The wafers will be used in the next generation CMOS program
IQE has delivered the first 200mm (8") GaN on silicon wafers into the Singapore-MIT Low Energy Electronic Systems (SMART-LEES) program.

Conventional CMOS is now rapidly reaching fundamental limits of silicon performance despite the ever decreasing transistor linewidths and highly complex architectures being deployed by leading semiconductor companies globally.

This has led to many leading foundries and IDMs actively developing Compound Semiconductor on Silicon (CSoS) technologies in order to exploit the advantageous electronic, optical and power handling properties of compound semiconductors, whilst continuing to use the scale and cost structure of existing silicon semiconductor fabs.

The SMART-LEES program in Singapore is a significant programme, developing, among other technologies, a comprehensive array of CSoS technologies to facilitate complete monolithic integration of CMOS and compound semiconductor circuits, in a way that allows the processing of the wafers through conventional 200mm CMOS processing lines.

What's more, design libraries will be developed to allow widespread adoption of these technologies across multiple end markets.

IQE has developed and delivered 200mm GaN on silicon High Electron Mobility  (HEMT) wafers, which have been delivered to this program to enable the realisation of a new generation of RF device architectures, integrated with highly efficient power control circuitry.

It is expected that further collaboration will quickly lead to a wide variety of other compound semiconductor combinations to be realised as part of the full array of CSoS technologies.

Project leader, Gene Fitzgerald, Merton C Fleming Professor of Materials Science at MIT comments, “It has been clear for some time that conventional CMOS is no longer capable of continuing Moore’s law. The ever increasing capital intensity of narrowing linewidths, coupled with the rapidly reducing performance benefit, means a new paradigm needs to be introduced."

He continues, " Compound semiconductors fully integrated on a Silicon platform is a highly optimal solution, taking advantage of both the greatly superior performance of compound Semiconductors in many applications, coupled with the cost benefits of the existing silicon fab infrastructure. Our program fully integrates III-V devices into the silicon design platform, resulting in the ability to develop fundamentally new circuit designs for a wide-range of applications. We are very happy to be working together with IQE, the leading compound semiconductor materials company to realise the creation of next generation CMOS platforms."

Drew Nelson, President and CEO of IQE adds, “It is a great privilege to be working with such a highly talented team within the SMART alliance, on technologies which will drive a new phase of growth in the semiconductor Industry. Compound semiconductors have always been the next obvious choice to carry forward the silicon industry, and we are very excited about being a major part of the next revolution in fully integrated CMOS technology, bringing the next leap in performance across a great range of technologies."

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Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

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Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

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