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24 July 2019

IQE begins VCSEL production for second major customer at Newport Mega Foundry

Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK says that its Newport Mega Foundry has started initial vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) production for a second major customer, serving the Android supply chains. Also, several more customers are in advanced stages of qualification. Performance data from the Newport foundry has exceeded previously attained performance levels, and several new qualifications are now in long-term reliability testing, the firm adds.

As a result, IQE has signed a contract extension with one of its largest VCSEL customers, extending the current contract until the end of 2021. In addition, two other existing contracts have also been extended with several other new contracts in final negotiations.

VCSELs are a key component in multiple existing and future 3D sensor systems, using both structured light and time-of-flight (ToF) technologies. Applications range from 3D facial identification (front-facing) systems and world-facing cameras on mobile handsets to light detection & ranging (LiDAR) and in cabin sensing for autonomous drive vehicles, range-finding and 3D sensing systems for a wide range of industrial and commercial applications. Production volumes are expected to ramp strongly over the next few years as adoption across multiple mobile platforms and other use cases proliferate. In anticipation of such strong growth, IQE has invested heavily over the last two years in building what is claimed to be the world’s largest VCSEL epiwafer facility in Newport. IQE says it is involved in multiple engagements across all of the aforementioned applications, and is currently qualifying more than a dozen volume customers at the Newport Mega Foundry.

“The initiation of production for a second major customer at our Newport Mega Epi Foundry is another important milestone in cementing Newport as the premier location globally for large-scale, state-of-the-art VCSEL production,” says Dr Mark Furlong, executive VP, global business development, Photonics and InfraRed. “The availability of the large-scale production capacity which has been established over the last 18 months at Newport, and consequent improvement in production efficiency and performance, is highly valued by our customers as they address mass-market adoption across multiple applications.”

See related items:

IQE gains full product qualification and first mass-production order for Newport Mega Foundry for epi materials

Tags: IQE

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