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7 September 2018

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult secures first commercial agreement

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

The Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult has secured its first commercial agreement, with the University of Bristol.

The Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult is a not-for-profit organization (headquartered in South Wales) focused on accelerating the adoption of compound semiconductors and on bringing applications to life. It works across the UK within a range of industry sectors from automotive to medical, and from digital communications to aerospace.

The university has developed technology called TherMap, which uses a non-destructive technique to measure the thermal properties of semiconductor wafers and other multi-layer structures. The technique is suitable for most wide-bandgap layer structures, such as gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN on SiC), and can be used for in-line process monitoring and yield optimization.

The University of Bristol has commissioned the CSA Catapult to provide an analysis of the potential market for this technology in order to inform the commercialization roadmap. The Catapult will interview potential users of the technology to establish their current approach to wafer characterization and inform them about TherMap.

The university is also offering a free trial service to wafer fabs and device manufacturers around the world, and the Catapult is fielding enquiries from interested fabs.

The CSA Catapult works collaboratively and has built relationships with key players across the UK wafer fabrication industry. This outreach to CSA Catapult’s network will enable it to advise the university on how its TherMap technology could be used in innovative applications within the compound semiconductor industry.

“This innovation could potentially make a huge difference to the compound semiconductor industry globally by enabling it to assess the quality of semiconductor wafers, improve yield and improve its processes,” comments CSA Catapult CEO Stephen Doran. “We are delighted to be a part of bringing this impressive innovation closer to market and marking a milestone for the Catapult in being truly open for business,” he adds.

“TherMap is a development of Bristol’s CDTR labs for innovative thermal wafer mapping, the result of many years' of research which we aim to translate into an industry product,” says professor Martin Kuball of Bristol University’s Center for Device Thermography and Reliability (CDTR) Labs.

Building up the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

Currently in start-up mode to build its full technology capability, CSA Catapult will initially focus on three technology areas: Photonics, Power Electronics and RF & Microwave.

The Photonics section can offer companies access to a range of services to assist with Photonics application development. Its integrated approach supports the whole design lifecycle from optical system and optoelectronic package design through to packaging, test and characterization, and qualification testing for harsh environments. The Photonics section offers the development of high-reliability optical systems while ensuring a design for manufacture and scalability. The team has expertise in optical modelling and simulation, spectroscopy, sensors and telemetry.

Power Electronics activities are focused initially on the transportation sector, covering, for example, automotive vehicle electrification and more electric aircraft. The power electronics facilities at the new CSA Catapult Innovation Centre cover converter and power module modeling, PCB and package design, simulation, system evaluation and reliability testing. The equipment includes programmable AC and DC sources and loads to 500kW, and an electro-magnetic compatability (EMC) anechoic chamber for pre-compliance radiated emissions and immunity assessment. The team has expertise in system design, simulation and modelling, as well as system-level test and evaluation.

The RF & Microwave section can offer companies a range of collaborative R&D and commercial opportunities spanning design, modeling and simulation of semiconductor devices, circuits and systems, packaging and assembly through to test, evaluation and qualification. The team will have expertise covering device physics and modeling, MMIC/RFIC design, antenna design, RF packaging and assembly and systems integration.

The Catapult is actively looking to fill positions across all levels of the organization and in particular its three technology sections. Working with the Catapult can provide the opportunity to contribute and shape a business in its early stages. It says it has a collaborative, supportive and inclusive culture that will be reflected in its Innovation Centre, which has agile workspaces and settings for different types of working behaviour. The Catapult also boasts the benefit of a fast-moving entrepreneurial culture and a five-year delivery plan.

See related items:

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult to receive £51m from UK Catapult network

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult appoints CEO

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult appoints chief operations officer

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult launches non-executive board

SPTS president Kevin Crofton appointed chairman of UK's Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

IQE and Cardiff University to help spearhead £50m UK Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

Tags: Power electronics RF power semiconductors Photonics

Visit: www.csa.catapult.org.uk

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