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15 September 2014

IQE agrees MOU with WIN and Nanyang for Singapore centre of excellence

Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Taiwan’s WIN Semiconductors Inc (the world’s largest pure-play gallium arsenide foundry) and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to form a centre of excellence for the development of compound semiconductor technology in Singapore. The Compound Semiconductor Development Centre (CSDC) will be jointly owned by IQE, WIN, NTU, local management and key academics.

The three partners reckon that compound semiconductor technology will play a significant role in the future of the overall semiconductor industry, and that the initiative will provide a focal point for effective collaboration between industry and academia in developing next-generation technologies. Recognizing the significant investment that is already been made globally into the many emerging markets for compound semiconductors, its aim is to accelerate the development of compound semiconductor technology in Singapore and to provide an effective incubator for bringing new innovations to market.

The Economic Development Board of Singapore has played a key role in pulling the initiative together, complementing other compound semiconductor development activities being undertaken in Singapore such as SMART-LEES (Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center’s Low Energy Electronic Systems). Such initiatives are creating next-generation IP that aims to support continued economic growth in Singapore.

The new project forms part of IQE's global reorganization plan, which in total is on track to deliver annual recurring synergies in excess of £7m per annum. As part of its contribution to the Singapore joint venture, IQE will provide facilities, equipment and IP on favourable terms to the CSDC. As a consequence, IQE is creating provisions of £4.2m for asset impairment comprising the transfer of tools to the CSDC and £7.7m for the lease of existing buildings and facilities. The parties expect that the CSDC will commence operation during fourth-quarter 2014.

The CSDC represents a very innovative approach to making the most of the skills and talent that exist in Singapore, reckons IQE’s chief executive Dr Drew Nelson. “This will provide an effective route to overcoming the barriers that prevent new ideas and innovations being successfully brought to market and advancing and commercializing new compound semiconductor technologies,” he believes. “

“We have built an exciting compound semiconductor capability within NTU,” reckons NTU’s professor Yoon Soon Fatt. “The CSDC provides a meaningful collaboration for us with two key industrials within the compound semiconductor industry,” he adds.

“Singapore is committed to develop the compound semiconductor industry,” says Terence Gan, director of Electronics at the Singapore Economic Development Board. “Compound semiconductors make energy-efficient LED lighting and fiber-optic communications possible, and will enable the creation of ultra-fast and ultra-energy-efficient semiconductor integrated circuits,” he adds. “CSDC is an important partner to grow our pipeline of compound semiconductor R&D talent.”

See related items:

IQE delivers 200mm GaN-on-Si HEMT wafers to Singapore-MIT LEES next-generation CMOS program

LEES project aims to integrate optical and electronic components on a chip, using III-V-on-Si technology

Tags: IQE WIN Semiconductors

Visit: www.iqep.com

Visit: www.winfoundry.com

Visit: www.eee.ntu.edu.sg

Visit: http://smart.mit.edu/research/lees/lees.html

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