A new industry collaboration in the north east UK is aiming to boost the development of materials and compound semiconductor in the region. It is working with the national centre, the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, based in Newport, Wales.
The North East Advanced Material Electronics (NEAME) cluster group includes flexible chip maker PragmatIC Semiconductor and materials specialist II-VI, which both have fabs in the area. It also includes local companies Filtronic, Axenic, Evince, Inex, Isocom, Kromek and Viper RF.
“The NEAME cluster group is led by businesses for businesses. It works to provide a platform for North East companies working in advanced material electronics to help raise the profile of the region’s capabilities and address the needs and challenges faced by businesses,” said a spokesperson.
“Working alongside other key stakeholders and agencies, the group is collaborating with the Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult, with several companies already working with CSAC individually, to shape and deliver the best possible support for regional companies – providing them with the latest insight and best practices. Several members of NEAME also supply components to contribute to the applications CSAC aims to stimulate for growth,” she said.
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Ken Williamson, Pragmatic Chief Operating Officer said, “The North East of England is a powerhouse for innovation and quality in advanced material electronics. At Pragmatic we have demonstrated our commitment with our investment in PragmatIC Park, we believe this represents the future of UK semiconductor manufacturing.” The company is building a 300mm fab for plastic devices at the park.
“NEAME is an opportunity to showcase this region’s strength within advanced material electronics. What has always struck me about this area is the level of innovation that is happening every day on our doorstep,” said Richard Gibbs of Filtronic.
Kromek is the world’s largest cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) facility and is also based at NETPark, where it is developing and manufacturing radiation detection devices. Filtronic designs and manufactures state-of-the-art high-frequency electronic modules that connect telecommunications systems in space and for terrestrial 5G mobile networks.
Evince Technology is developing a process to manufacture electronic devices on synthetic-diamond substrates. II-VI is expanding its fab at Newton Aycliffe, and also has a deal with Element 6 in Oxford to develop diamond materials.
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