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Technical Insights


Tuesday 25th October 2005
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) program has advanced from fabricating singleband detectors to imagers with multiple spectral bands. Sarath Gunapala explains why the latest detectors will benefit weapons detection and remote sensing.
Tuesday 25th October 2005
Mounting HEMTs on AlN ceramic substrates is one technique for improving the thermal management that currently limits the performance of GaN-based RF power electronics. Jo Das and Marianne Germain from the Interuniversity Micro Electronics Center (IMEC) in Belgium outline this approach and the advantages it offers over competing technologies.
Tuesday 25th October 2005
Integrating an infrared camera into a Raman microscope produces the ideal tool for improving the reliability of GaN HFETs, says Bristol University's Martin Kuball.
Tuesday 25th October 2005
Fiber-optic component manufacturers Finisar and Avanex believe their financial and technological strategies will bear fruit next year in the form of profitability.
Tuesday 25th October 2005
Wednesday 21st September 2005
Compound Semiconductor magazine is 10 years old. And, just like most of the rest of the industry, it has been through a few ups and downs during that time. Here, we take a look back at some of the highlights - and lowlights - that have shaped the industry over the past decade.
Wednesday 21st September 2005
Compound Semiconductor magazine is 10 years old. And, just like most of the rest of the industry, it has been through a few ups and downs during that time. Here, we take a look back at some of the highlights - and lowlights - that have shaped the industry over the past decade.
Wednesday 21st September 2005
High-speed MMICs with lower turn-on voltages can be built by switching GaAs-HBTs for GAIN-HBTs with a dilute nitride base, say Matt Micci and Roger Welser. The advancement could allow mobile phone designers to build more reliable handsets operating at higher data-rates.
Wednesday 21st September 2005
At the height of the photonics boom, Dave Welch helped orchestrate the merger of SDL and JDS Uniphase. Now chief technology officer at start-up Infinera, he's led the development of a digital optical network system based on massively integrated InP chips. Michael Hatcher hears about Infinera's recipe for success as growth returns to the optical telecoms business.
Wednesday 21st September 2005
A tunable laser and a broadband modulator provide the best option for next-generation metro networks, according to Bookham. This combination can ease the transition from fixed-wavelength components to broadband monolithic transmitters. Richard Stevenson reports.
Tuesday 9th August 2005
New executive director of the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association Michael Lebby is sounding a wake-up call to optoelectronic chip manufacturers. Michael Hatcher talks to him about a foundry-based industry model for InP optoelectronics and the roadmap to profitability.
Tuesday 9th August 2005
With its cost-efficient InP HEMT and HBT processes on 100 mm substrates, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (NGST) is well positioned to produce power devices for next-generation cellphones. That was the message from Richard Lai, NGST’s manager of microelectronics products, to delegates at the recent Indium Phosphide and Related Materials conference held in Glasgow, UK.
Tuesday 9th August 2005
Swedish start-up Comlase has developed an ingenious technique for protecting the surface of semiconductor laser chip facets. Oliver Graydon reports on the company’s Nitrel treatment, which promises to boost the durability, output power and reliability of all types of laser diode.
Tuesday 9th August 2005
InGaAs cameras are now being used to find bruising in fruit, sort plastics for recycling, and help the glass-bottle manufacturing industry detect defects. This penetration into new markets is being driven by the availability of cheaper, higher-quality InGaAs material, reports Martin Ettenberg of Sensors Unlimited.
Tuesday 9th August 2005
Throughput, yield and the deposition of expensive metal-organic precursors dominate the cost of ownership of MOCVD reactors, according to research at Aixtron. Rainer Beccard explains how these three factors have driven the design of the company’s latest planetary reactor.
Tuesday 12th July 2005
Dilute-nitride lasers promise significant cost advantages over their indium phosphide counterparts, but despite this, their future now hangs in the balance following the recent sale of Infineon Technologies' optical-transceiver business to Finisar. Richard Stevenson investigates.
Tuesday 12th July 2005
BinOptics' etched-facet technology avoids the drawbacks of the standard cleaving process used in laser production, such as poor yields, while allowing on-wafer testing. Alan Morrow and Alex Behfar describe how the technique can benefit GaN laser manufacturing and speed up the market penetration of next-generation DVD players.
Tuesday 12th July 2005
Advances in television broadcasting, such as interactive services and the delivery of high-definition content, are generating demand for higher bandwidth cable-television networks. This evolution of the medium is driving an increase in shipments of gallium arsenide components, according to two leading RF chip manufacturers. Richard Stevenson investigates.
Tuesday 12th July 2005
With Nichia settling a number of recent disputes concerning unauthorized suppliers and Cree issuing licenses under its own white-LED patents, it might appear that the nitride LED intellectual property "wall" is indeed crumbling. But not everybody agrees, as Michael Hatcher discovers.
Tuesday 12th July 2005
Using a phosphor to convert blue emission from an LED chip into white light fundamentally limits the efficiency of solid-state lighting. Now, a research team in the US is looking to remove the need for phosphors by using fluorescent, doped-zinc-oxide substrates instead, as Jeff Nause explains.
Thursday 9th June 2005
High-power diode-laser manufacturers are now implementing new processes developed under various research programs in volume device production, as Michael Hatcher discovers.
Thursday 9th June 2005
Sales of hybrid electric vehicles are climbing but, unless the prices of such cars fall, stagnation could follow. The solution, says Will Draper, is to use silicon carbide chips to reduce the size of the power electronics and increase operating temperature.
Thursday 9th June 2005
One of the ways to cut chip costs is to transfer manufacturing to larger substrates. Is the LED-manufacturing industry in Taiwan ready for such a change? Richard Stevenson investigates.

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