4 October 2010


JX to transfer InP epi business to Optrans and form InP joint venture

Tokyo-based JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp says that it is to transfer the indium phosphide (InP) epitaxial wafer part of its compound semiconductor business to Optrans Corp of Kawasaki, Japan, which makes optoelectronic assemblies and components (including full-color LEDs and photodetectors), as it decides to focus on its compound semiconductor substrate manufacturing business (InP, CdTe and ZnTe) rather than epiwafers.

Founded in 1987 by president Katsuya Homma, in March 2009 Optrans acquired the operations and patented technology of the specialty microchip division of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Advanced Technology (NTT-AT) which, supported by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), had developed epitaxial crystal growth manufacturing technology as well as high-volume manufacturing of ultra-high-speed InP chips.

JX Nippon Mining & Metals says that it will also form an InP compound semiconductor business tie-up with Optrans and develop high-quality substrates by leveraging synergies with Optrans. JX will provide Optrans with InP compound semiconductor substrates, and benefit from Optrans’ epitaxial technology, which particularly suits mass production.

JX Nippon Mining & Metals is said to hold a global market share of about 50% in InP substrates, which are mainly used in photodiodes and light-emitting diodes for optical communications.

JX anticipates that, through the business tie-up, it will be able to go beyond optical communications applications and promote the development of new applications of the substrates, including solar cells and sensors (where demand is expected to grow in the future).

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