15 June 2011

BAE Systems fabricates operational transistors using OPEL's POET platform

OPEL Solar International Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada says that a key element of the Planar Optoelectronic Technology (POET) semiconductor platform developed by its US affiliate OPEL Defense Integrated Systems (ODIS Inc) of Shelton, CT has been validated by a third party, BAE Systems Electronic Solution, culminating in the successful fabrication of operational transistor devices.

POET creates high-performance devices by fusing optical and electronic functions together on a single chip. Specifically, POET is a semiconductor manufacturing technology that enables the monolithic fabrication of gallium arsenide (GaAs) integrated circuits containing both electronic and optical elements on a single wafer. Developed over 18 years by chief scientist Dr Geoff Taylor and his ODIS team, POET is protected by numerous patents and patents pending. OPEL says that, offering devices with dramatically lower costs and increased speed, density and reliability, POET could potentially impact a broad range of mobile and server applications.

In 2008, BAE Systems entered into a contract with ODIS with the intent of replicating specific POET devices in a third-party environment at BAE Systems’ Reed Microelectronics Center. Over this period, with indirect overview by ODIS staff, BAE Systems engineers tested and confirmed critical electrical elements of POET sub-process steps for the transistors, says OPEL. In the near future, it is intended that these electrical structures will be integrated with the required optical structures.

“With this first independently manufactured transistor, we have achieved a milestone to the industry’s long-held vision of monolithically fusing photonics and electronics,” claims OPEL’s CEO Leon M. Pierhal.

OPEL says that, with an accelerated technical and commercialization roadmap, it is actively addressing future arrangements with device manufacturers, where its platform could be optimized to address device applications based on POET’s unique technology. The firm reckons that the validation by BAE Systems of a key electronic process brings OPEL a step closer to fully realizing the value of the POET process.


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