11 May 2022
IQE unveils first commercially available 200mm VCSEL wafer
Epiwafer and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, UK has announced what is said to be the world’s first commercially available 200mm (8”) vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) epiwafer.
IQE reckons that the increase in wafer diameter to 200mm will enable a step-change in unit economics for compound semiconductors, allowing expansion to new foundry partnerships (including silicon-based foundries). Furthermore, it enables the integration of compound semiconductors on silicon, allowing adoption across a wider range of devices and applications.
IQE notes that 3D sensing was made economical within premium smartphones in 2017 when it developed and scaled VCSEL epiwafers from 100mm to 150mm. The introduction of 200mm creates opportunities beyond the smartphone, into a broad range of intelligent connected devices and also enables applications in the metaverse.
“This is a critical milestone and establishes IQE as the global leader in scaling compound semiconductor technology to larger diameters,” reckons CEO Americo Lemos. “As we set out in our fiscal-year 2021 results in March, a key focus area is growing our business by extending our roadmap to 200mm to establish new foundry partnerships,” he adds. “This advancement will expand the market for both wireless and photonics applications and service the growing demand for compound semiconductors as macro trends such as 5G and the metaverse proliferate and capture more value for our technology.”