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Technical Insights


Monday 3rd December 2007
Having exploited its number one position in power amplifiers to buy fellow GaAs high-flyer Sirenza, RFMD now has its money firmly on diversification. Andy Extance listens as the company calls the odds.
Monday 12th November 2007
Emcore has been winning multimillion dollar contracts for its terrestrial solar cells, modules and systems. Photovoltaics vice-president David Danzilio tells Richard Stevenson about the reasons behind this success and the advances that the company is making in its products for space applications.
Monday 12th November 2007
WIN has joined a select band of chip makers with its own BiFET technology. The H2W foundry process optimizes HBTs and PHEMTs independently, and it integrates power amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, logic control and a power switch on a single chip, says Cheng-Kuo Lin.
Monday 12th November 2007
Despite photovoltaic conversion efficiencies recently reaching record highs, there is no shortage of ideas for further refinements, finds Michael Hatcher.
Monday 12th November 2007
Successfully shrinking a GaN HFET's dimensions can ramp up its operating frequency and open the door to applications such as 94 GHz radar, last-mile wireless communication and non-lethal weapons that disable opponents by heating their skin, says HRL's Brian Hughes and Michael J Keesling.
Thursday 1st November 2007
Synthetic CVD-grown polycrystalline diamond has fantastic heat-conducting properties. Inserting a thin layer underneath a GaN HEMT can halve this transistor's operating temperature and substantially increase its maximum output power, says a team of researchers at California's Group4 Labs.
Monday 15th October 2007
With an Intel executive blogging about integrated III-V and CMOS functionality, and DARPA setting up a three-pronged attack on the same topic, it's time for compounds and silicon to get up close and personal. Michael Hatcher reports.
Monday 15th October 2007
A novel method for making native GaN has paved the way for Wang Nang Wang's high-power emitters and launch of a spin-off company. Richard Stevenson visits the University of Bath researcher.
Monday 15th October 2007
Fred Schubert and Jong Kyu Kim guide us through 100 years of the LED, before predicting where our most promising light source will take us over the next decade.
Monday 15th October 2007
Inverted metamorphic designs can boost the efficiency of conventional triple-junction solar cells, cut their weight and offer compatibility with flexible substrates, say Paul Sharps and Arthur Cornfeld from cell producer Emcore and Mark Wanlass from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Monday 15th October 2007
A highly sensitive optical technique known as cavity ring-down spectroscopy can reveal minute levels of water contamination in MOCVD process gases such as arsine and can demonstrate the true benefit of point-of-use purification, say Jun Feng and Mark Raynor from Matheson Tri-Gas and Yu Chen from Tiger Optics.
Monday 15th October 2007
Red, orange and yellow LEDs based on a dilute nitride promise higher power and reduced temperature sensitivity, say Vladimir Odnoblyudov and Neil Senturia from UCSD spin-off Quanlight.
Wednesday 19th September 2007
Major fluctuations in the market shares of the leading handset vendors pose the immediate challenge for power amplifier suppliers, while increased 3G network build-out boosts RFIC sales and suggests that RF Micro Devices' acquisition of Sirenza could be a timely one. Michael Hatcher surveys the latest financial developments.
Wednesday 19th September 2007
LED manufacturers can boost chip performance by up to 30% if they replace ITO contacts with those based on ZnO, says Structured Materials Industries' Gary Tompa.
Wednesday 19th September 2007
Perpendicular cleaving planes and an absence of polarization fields mark out thick layers of little-known free-standing cubic GaN as the ideal platform for optoelectronic devices, say Nottingham University's Sergei Novikov, Anthony Kent, Richard Campion and Tom Foxon.
Wednesday 19th September 2007
If you develop the right process, a switch from a platinum to a palladium barrier can cut your PHEMT production costs without compromising leakage currents, says Skyworks' Kezia Cheng.
Wednesday 19th September 2007
Aixtron is helping to accelerate the commercialization of free-standing GaN through the launch of a vertical HVPE tool that features a hanging seed holder and is capable of producing 2 inch diameter boules, says Bernd Schineller.
Wednesday 19th September 2007
New geometries and field plates have extended the operating voltage, power output and efficiency of GaAs PHEMTs to a level where they can compete with SiC and GaN-on-silicon devices, claim David Fanning, Edward Beam, Paul Saunier and Hua-Quen Tserng from TriQuint Semiconductor.
Thursday 2nd August 2007
When a major global corporate swallows up a specialist company, things don't always go according to plan. But Epichem co-founder Barry Leese tells Michael Hatcher that joining forces with the chemicals giant Sigma-Aldrich has enabled the UK metalorganics supplier access to the fast-growing market for advanced silicon devices.
Thursday 2nd August 2007
Miniature atomic clocks offer a small but valuable market for VCSEL manufacturers that are able to build single-mode lasers with a low threshold current and very precise emission wavelengths, according to Darwin Serkland from Sandia National Labs and Robert Lutwak from Symmetricom.
Thursday 2nd August 2007
At one corner of the Alcatel-Lucent campus on the outskirts of Paris, change is in the air. Surrounded by farmers tending their crops, 3S Photonics is determined to dominate the resurgent market for submarine optical communication components. Andy Extance reports from rustic Nozay.
Thursday 2nd August 2007
Dislocations are the root cause of infant HBT failure, says Agilent, and reducing their density is the only way to achieve higher levels of integration with excellent reliability. Richard Stevenson investigates.
Thursday 2nd August 2007
Currently producing 2 inch GaN substrates from a native seed, Kyma Technologies' crystal process will be scaled up to 4 inches by the end of the decade, report Keith Gurnett and Tom Adams.

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