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Monday 15th September 2008
US military interests seem to be setting the GaN market in motion, but will this provide sufficient rewards for companies getting into the sector? Andy Extance speaks to some of the key figures and tries to extract some sense from the facts that are slipping out from between the official secrets.
Monday 8th September 2008
Low-resistivity 150mm germanium substrates with uniform thicknesses offer a great platform for lowering the cost of triple-junction solar cells for deployment in terrestrial applications, according to a team of researchers from Umicore.
Monday 1st September 2008
As vice-president of Anadigics' wireless business, Ali Khatibzadeh has played a key role in refocusing the company on 3G cellphone and wireless networking technologies. With that strategy now paying off, he talks to Andy Extance about Anadigics' plans for GaN, femtocells, WiMAX and LTE at the MTT-S meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tuesday 26th August 2008
IPRM 2008 focused on two major themes: InP HEMTs for millimeter-wave imaging systems; and faster lasers, modulators and drivers to address increasingly bottlenecked internet traffic. Richard Stevenson reports.
Tuesday 26th August 2008
Japanese companies are continually pushing the boundaries of GaN electronics. Recent industrial efforts have led to the fastest transistors, diodes that can withstand blocking voltages of more than 10 kV and single-chip high-frequency amplifiers producing record gain. Richard Stevenson reports.
Tuesday 19th August 2008
Diode lasers and their quantum cascade cousins struggle to reach some mid-infrared wavelengths needed for gas sensing and missile jamming, but put the two together and it's a different story, say Chadwick Canedy, Igor Vurgaftman and Jerry Meyer from the US Naval Research Laboratory.
Monday 18th August 2008
Getting SiC transistors into hybrid electric vehicles is a win-win scenario. It will open up a large and lucrative market for the wide-bandgap semiconductor, while squeezing a few more miles per gallon out of the automobile, according to Martin Domeij and Muhammad Nawaz from TranSiC.
Monday 11th August 2008
Despite some initial problems, the leading GaAs wafer fabs in the US are now reaping the advantages of a switch to laser dicing systems that are displacing scribe-and-break equipment. But those yet to change to the laser process can learn a lot from TriQuint Semiconductor's experiences both good and bad, discovers Michael Hatcher.
Monday 4th August 2008
DARPA's funding has made a staggering contribution to the compound semiconductor community. Novel materials and devices have flowed forth from its programs and opened up lucrative markets for military and commercial applications. Richard Stevenson looks back at the agency's first 50 years.
Monday 28th July 2008
Despite burning its way through hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 20 years, InP and GaAs chip maker Bookham is still in business. Remarkably, it now looks like it will be generating cash by the end of 2008. Michael Hatcher asks CEO Alain Couder how he has turned around the company's fortunes.
Monday 28th July 2008
Sometimes it's very difficult to take a successful device and replicate it in another materials system. The GaAs VCSEL is a case in point: although it has been a great commercial success, transferring the design to longer wavelengths has been fraught with difficulty. The main stumbling block is the design and fabrication of lattice-matched mirrors with sufficiently high reflectivity.
Friday 25th July 2008
In just 10 years the InP/GaAsSb DHBT has evolved from a lab curiosity to research devices inching to terahertz cut-off frequencies, and a commercial product, says ETH Zürich's Colombo Bolognesi.
Monday 21st July 2008
Color-converting phosphors hamper the efficiencies of commercial white LEDs. But this can be avoided by switching to quantum-well growth on multiple facets, say Mitsuru Funato and Yoichi Kawakami from Kyoto University.
Monday 21st July 2008
The copper interconnects that route chip-to-chip data transfer are starting to reach their speed limit. But this looming bottleneck can be overcome by switching to ultra-fast VCSELs with tiny threshold currents, say Yu-Chia Chang and Larry Coldren from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Monday 14th July 2008
Hall sensors are incredibly versatile devices. They can analyze the constituents of mining samples, form accurate magnetometers and team up with tiny magnets to create a novel magnetic memory that retains its information when the power is switched off, says Micromem's Steven Van Fleet.
Monday 7th July 2008
Why are green LEDs so inefficient? Is it the result of poor carrier injection, high Auger loss, strong internal fields, or simply poor material quality, asks Osram's Matthias Peter.
Monday 30th June 2008
After a year in which the credit crunch took its toll on the global financial markets, deposition equipment vendor Aixtron has maintained its position as the best-performing stock in the compound semiconductor basket.
Monday 30th June 2008
Looking out of the window on the train from Madrid to Seville, you might catch sight of a phalanx of solar panels in a key test plant for compound semiconductor-based energy production. With sites like this becoming increasingly common, the concentrating photovoltaic industry gathered in Madrid to report their systems' latest results at the CPV Today summit, and Andy Extance joined them.
Monday 23rd June 2008
Today's quantum-dot lasers operate in niche markets. However, significant laser shipments could soon materialize thanks to Fabry-Pérot designs that offer the ideal source for optical links in next-generation computer systems, according to Alexey Kovsh and Greg Wojcik from Innolume.
Monday 16th June 2008
Adding sodium to a gallium melt that is fed with nitrogen gas promises to scale up miniscule GaN crystals to 4 inch diameters, according to Osaka University's Fumio Kawamura, Yasuo Kitaoka, Yusuke Mori and Takatomo Sasaki.
Monday 9th June 2008
Scaling down silicon CMOS nodes is getting harder and harder. However, help is on the horizon in the form of III-V and germanium MOSFETs that can improve the performance of n- and p-type channels, say Matthias Passlack, IMEC's Marc Heyns and Iain Thayne from the University of Glasgow.
Monday 2nd June 2008
The rush to invest in and develop clean energy technologies has witnessed unprecedented interest in III-V solar cells for concentrating photovoltaics. However, as Michael Hatcher reports from a sunny Key West, huge challenges lie in wait.
Tuesday 27th May 2008
The wide-bandgap electronics market is still looking like a lucrative one, but only if you adopt a
Tuesday 1st April 2008
Now much less reliant on mobile phone backlighting, the market for high-brightness LEDs is bouncing back from two years of sluggish growth, writes Michael Hatcher.

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