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6 August 2009


IQE commences Phase II of COSMOS

Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK has commenced Phase II of a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract led by Raytheon IDS to develop Compound Semiconductor Materials on Silicon (COSMOS). IQE’s involvement is to develop the epitaxial growth processes.

Phase I of the contract commenced in September 2007 with the goal of developing and demonstrating a viable process to integrate compound semiconductor materials with silicon in order to improve linearity, dynamic range and bandwidth of radio frequency devices. With Phase I successfully completed, Phase II aims to improve both the yield and density of the heterogeneous epitaxial growth of indium phosphide (InP) HBTs in conjunction with conventional, silicon-based complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes.

Overall, the aim of the project is to integrate high-performance compound semiconductors with low-cost commercial CMOS silicon wafers to achieve superior cost-benefit performance compared with either technology on its own.

"Selective placement of semiconductor compounds on silicon is an important achievement because it proves that optimal circuit performance can be produced through a heterogeneous, high-yield, monolithic integration process," said Dr Tom Kazior, program manager at Raytheon IDS.

Steve Gergar, vice president and general manager at IQE’s manufacturing facility in Bethlehem, PA, USA, where development of the epitaxial processes for phase II is being undertaken, added: "IQE's continued role in this programme demonstrates our reputation for expertise, experience and quality in advanced semiconductor materials manufacturing processes for both current and future applications and maintains our position at the forefront of leading edge semiconductor materials technologies."

Other partners in the COSMOS project include: Raytheon Systems Limited in Glenrothes, Scotland, UK; Teledyne Scientific Imaging Company in Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass, USA; Paradigm Research LLC in Windham, NH, USA; Soitec in Grenoble, France; and Silicon Valley Technology Center in San Jose, CA, USA.

See related items:

HRL receives Phase II COSMOS contract from DARPA

Raytheon awarded $6.5m for integration of compound semiconductors on CMOS silicon

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