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12 November 2018

CSC to participate in UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund program KAIROS to develop and commercialize quantum technologies

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

The Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd (CSC) - a joint venture founded in 2015 between Cardiff University and epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK – is to participate in an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund project (delivered by Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation) to develop and commercialize a quantum miniature atomic clock that will power future 5G networks.

Led by Teledyne e2v with partners CSC, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Leonardo, Altran, ICS, HCD Research, Optocap, University of York and Cardiff University, the KAIROS consortium aims to develop a pre-production prototype of a miniature atomic clock for providing precise timing to critical infrastructure services such as reliable energy supply, safe transport links, mobile communications data networks and electronic financial transactions.

The precise measurement of time is fundamental to the effective functioning of these services, which currently rely on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for a timing signal. However, GNSS signals are easily disrupted either accidentally or maliciously and, in prolonged GNSS unavailability, these critical services stop functioning.

The reliance on GNSS for precision timing and the consequent vulnerability of essential services prompted InnovateUK to commission a report published by London Economics in June 2017. It estimated the impact on the UK economy of a five-day GNSS outage at £5.2bn. That message is becoming widely understood and is creating demand for timing solutions that are not GNSS dependent. The next-generation miniature atomic clock arising from this project fulfills this need and is expected to find widespread application in precision timing for mobile base-stations network servers for financial services data centers, national power distribution networks and air traffic control systems.

Further applications arise in areas where an independent timing reference is needed on mobile platforms and especially in areas where no GNSS signal is available. It is reckoned that a high-performance compact clock would benefit a range of useful capabilities addressing civil and military applications, bringing both technical and economic gains for the UK.

See related items:

CSC formally launched as first compound semiconductor cluster

IQE and Cardiff University establish JV to develop and commercialize compound semiconductor technologies in Europe

Tags: IQE

Visit: www.ukri.org/innovation/industrial-strategy-challenge-fund/quantum-technologies

Visit: http://compoundsemiconductorcentre.com

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