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31 July 2015

IQE named one of 55 key partners in USA's first Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation

Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK (which also has manufacturing facilities in the USA) has been named as a key partner in a new consortium to establish the USA's first Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI).

Created as part of President Obama's National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), the IP-IMI has been launched by US Vice President Biden (as the sixth of nine new manufacturing institutes designed to bring industry together with academia and government) in order to advance the state-of-the-art in the design, manufacture, testing, assembly and packaging of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and establish US leadership in integrated photonics.

The consortium comprises 55 key industrial partners, including Intel, IBM, Infinera, HP, Honeywell, Rockwell, Seagate and Texas Instruments along with other leading-edge companies, universities and laboratories, and is led by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY). IQE's role is to provide advanced epitaxy services to the institute's partners.

IP-IMI has been awarded federal funding of $110m by the US Department of Defense (DoD). This is expected to yield total public-private investment of more than $610m, which will enable the institute to focus on developing an end-to-end integrated photonics ecosystem in the USA (including domestic foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly & test, and workforce development). The institute will develop and demonstrate innovative manufacturing technologies for:

  • ultra-high-speed transmission of signals for the Internet and telecoms;
  • new high-performance information-processing systems and computing;
  • compact sensor applications (enabling dramatic medical advances in diagnostics and treatment);
  • multi-sensor applications (including urban navigation, free-space optical communications and quantum information sciences);
  • other diverse military applications, including electronic warfare (EW), analog RF sensing, communications, and chemical/biological detection.

All of these developments will require cross-cutting disciplines of design, manufacturing, packaging, reliability and testing.

The institute will hence provide central facilities through which academia, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large corporations can access the latest technology for the design and manufacture of photonics devices, providing a route to commercialization through high-value, high-volume manufacturing.

"The importance of the rapidly growing photonics technology industry cannot be overestimated and it is already having a major impact in areas such as communications, energy efficiency, healthcare and safety and security systems," comments IQE's CEO & president Dr Drew Nelson. "Inclusion as a key partner in this new US Manufacturing Institute is testament to IQE's reputation as a global world leader in compound semiconductor materials, a key enabling technology (KET) for photonics," he adds.   

Tags: IQE

Visit: www.manufacturing.gov/ip-imi.html

Visit: www.iqep.com

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