UK plans IMEC equivalent for compound semiconductors

June 30, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Kevin Crofton (left), chair of the Comopund Semiconductor Catapult and president of SPTS in Newport
A £50m project in the UK is aiming to build the equivalent of the Belgian research company IMEC for compound semiconductors such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide for LED, RF and power applications.

The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult is about to appoint a chief executive and create a centre in Wales, says Kevin Crofton, President of semiconductor equipment maker SPTS and newly appointed chair of the catapult (above, left).

“In the grand vision we would be ideally the IMEC equivalent in the compound space, based in the UK,” he said. “This would be a place where international compound companies come to engage on process flows, application development, in an agnostic way – will that be 10 years or 20, I don’t know, but that’s where we are heading.”

“There’s something like 500 companies in the UK that are involved in compound semiconductors and applications so the whole supply chain is here in the UK, mostly on the back of [telecoms company] BT,” he said. “There’s an immense supply chain but it’s fragmented. There are many small companies with great ideas and great technologies that can’t get their technologies to market.