World’s First Compound Semiconductor Cluster Launched in Wales

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Under the umbrella of the Wales Festival of Innovation, Newport Wafer Fab hosted over 100 guests from across the semiconductor supply chain. The goal of the conference was to spread the message of the creation of the world’s first Compound Semiconductor Cluster right here in Wales.

The CSconnected companies educated representatives from across the sector including leading universities, existing and potential customers, Welsh / UK Government agencies and key supply chain partners. Many networks and collaborations were catalysed by the Wales Festival of Innovation event.

CSconnected represents organisations who are directly associated with research, development, innovation and manufacturing of compound semiconductor related technologies as well as organisations along the supply chains whose products and services are enabled by compound semiconductors.

The organisations involved are: Cardiff University, Swansea University, Compound Semiconductor Centre, the CSA Catapult, IQE PLC, Newport Wafer Fab, SPTS and Microsemi.

This unique inter-company collaboration is already launching technologies which will be at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution. The CS Cluster can potentially create up to 2000 high-tech careers and can play a significant part in shifting the Welsh GVA.

Semiconductor processing on silicon has been used for 50+ years. Now combinations of new materials from the periodic table have been developed such as Gallium Nitride, improving silicon performance by 50x. With higher speeds and lower losses they can be used for applications such as light sensing and emitting across a large spectrum (photonics), RF applications, sensors, and medical applications where battery life is critical.

Compound semiconductors are driving future technologies: from the connected world, the Internet of Things to robotics, autonomous vehicles, 5G and healthcare technologies. Compound semiconductors are and will continue to impact the way we live, work and spend our leisure time. Compound semiconductors created here in Wales are the enabling technology for 21st century life.

Sam Evans, a Newport Wafer Fab director, said:

“The post conference feedback has been excellent. The CS Cluster concept is a compelling one, bringing together a unique collection of specialist organisations. The event has started and progressed so many opportunities.”