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Technical Insights


Tuesday 1st April 2008
Attempts at growing III-Vs on conventional silicon tend to end in failure. But germanium-based composites and off-axis silicon can provide a platform for high-performance chips for digital logic and broadband RF applications, say Dmitri Lubyshev, Joel Fastenau and Amy Liu.
Tuesday 1st April 2008
Several decades of research have failed to boost the currents in inversion-mode III-V MOSFETs. However, massive improvements are possible by combining indium-rich InGaAs channels with high-k dielectrics grown by atomic-layer-deposition, explains Peide Ye from Purdue University.
Tuesday 1st April 2008
Vertical conduction ramps up the drive currents and output powers of ultraviolet LEDs. Such devices will soon enter the market through Nitek Inc, where they will take on bulky high-voltage UV lamps for use in purification and curing applications, says Asif Khan from the University of South Carolina.
Monday 17th March 2008
Vic Steel is looking to keep RFMD ahead of the rest of the GaAs field with MEMS for RF switch integration in handsets and an unexpected foray into photovoltaics. The company's vice-president of corporate R&D shares his game plan with Andy Extance.
Monday 17th March 2008
Rubicon, Infinera and IPG Photonics are all new to the stock market in the past year. So how did they all perform?
Monday 17th March 2008
Better extraction efficiencies for red LEDs are now possible, thanks to specially designed transmitting and reflecting layers that feature in two of Epistar's latest product lines, say the company's Tzer-Perng Chen and Min-Hsun Hsieh.
Monday 17th March 2008
Epiwafer cracking hampers UV-laser diode production, but this problem can be avoided by inserting triangular-shaped GaN pyramids on top of the sapphire substrate, says Harumasa Yoshida from Hamamatsu Photonics.
Monday 17th March 2008
The terahertz gap is on the way out. Transistors are speeding up, quantum cascade lasers are stretching farther into the microwave domain and the window that's left is shrinking, reports Richard Stevenson.
Monday 17th March 2008
Devising a monolithic approach to making a silicon light source has been fraught with difficulty, but the fabrication of lattice-matched GaNAsP lasers on CMOS-compatible substrates is showing a great deal of promise, according to Wolfgang Stolz from the University of Marburg and NAsP III/V.
Monday 17th March 2008
Electrically pumped GaN VCSELs are just round the corner, thanks to the development of AlInN-based distributed Bragg mirrors and ring-shaped intracavity contacts, says EPFL's Eric Feltin.
Monday 11th February 2008
Traditionally the conference where future silicon processes first emerge, it was standing room only for "III-V CMOS" at the 2007 International Electron Devices Meeting held in Washington, DC.
Monday 11th February 2008
Hermetic wafer-level packaging can cut the cost and weight of III-V MMIC protection and offer a route to combining different types of chip in a single compact module, say Patty Chang-Chien, Xianglin Zeng, Yun Chung and Jeff Yang from Northrop Grumman Space Technology.
Monday 11th February 2008
If you want p-type GaN with sharp p-doping profiles and low resistivity, then consider switching your carrier gas from hydrogen to argon, say Vladimir Dmitriev and Alexander Usikov from Technologies and Devices International.
Monday 11th February 2008
Photon recycling and quantum wells enhance single-junction solar cell efficiencies and will boost tandem cell performance to triple-junction levels, say Quantasol's Kevin Arthur and Keith Barnham.
Monday 11th February 2008
Ultra-high efficacy white-light sources can be built by carefully mixing efficient blue, green, yellow and red LEDs, say Sandia National Laboratories researchers. Richard Stevenson investigates.
Monday 11th February 2008
Conventional crystal growth methods don't work well for manufacturing GaN, but it is possible to produce small particles by electrolysis. With some minor changes this relatively fast process might be scaled to the manufacture of GaN substrates, says Sandia National Laboratories' Karen Waldrip.
Monday 14th January 2008
A major obstacle to solid-state lighting is so-called "droop" - the way that the efficiency falls at high drive currents. Its origins were unclear: until a recent spate of papers appeared, that is...
Monday 10th December 2007
An entrenched position in the MOCVD equipment sector and the continued surge in demand for tools from LED manufacturers made Aixtron's stock one of the hottest investments in a tumultuous year on the exchanges.
Monday 10th December 2007
Six Sigma analysis has driven substantial cuts in Skyworks' photoresist consumption and has resulted in savings in excess of $450,000, according to Jens Riege.
Monday 10th December 2007
But can the industry's businesses save themselves as they compete with each other in a tight niche for limited sales to final consumers? Andy Extance was in Otsu, Japan, to document the aspirations and growing pains, as well as the latest research on show in this maturing field at ICSCRM 2007.
Monday 10th December 2007
TriQuint Semiconductor has united its HBTs and PHEMTs with a BiHEMT process that promises to integrate power amplifiers and antenna switches on the same chip, according to Tim Henderson.
Monday 10th December 2007
Micro-ring full-band tunable lasers can deliver fast and stable wavelength switching. This makes them the ideal candidate for next-generation networks employing optical packet-switching technology, say Shinji Matsuo and Toru Segawa from NTT Photonics Laboratories, Japan.
Monday 10th December 2007
Silicon has a history of driving GaAs out of key applications. Could it repeat that trick in handsets?
Tuesday 4th December 2007
If you asked somebody at random to name a semiconductor company, the chances are most people would say: "Intel". Now, there aren't really any compound semiconductor companies that make for household names (yet), but if you had to pick the "Intel" of the GaAs world, there's a fair chance that you'd say: "RF Micro Devices".

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