Intense Photonics has entered into a strategic partnership with the III-V wafer specialist IQE. The partnership involves the design, modelling and growth of complex compound semiconductor crystal structures, and will help to shorten Intense Photonics' path to market for its photonic integrated circuits.
"Wafer growth is a critical element in our supply chain, and the alliance with IQE is helping to maintain our momentum to full commercial operations, by eliminating the effort and cost involved in setting up this specialist process in house", said Intense Photonics' Jim Ashe, VP Marketing Worldwide. "We chose IQE because of its focus on III-V materials, and the extensive development expertise that it is able to bring to bear to help us maximize yields and performance as we commercialize our quantum well intermixing process for photonic ICs."
IQE will be providing gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) based epitaxy structures to support Intense Photonics' work in component sectors including pump lasers and photonic switches, for C and L optical networking frequency bands.
"Epitaxy growth of III-V materials requires a great deal of know-how, and we believe our vast experience in compound semiconductor materials will help to give Intense Photonics an edge", says David Thomas, IQE's Business Development Manager. "Our facilities allow us to support customers from development through to volume manufacturing. By working closely with Intense's own engineers, we can rapidly fine-tune structures to optimize device performance and ensure consistent component production."
IQE is the world's largest outsource supplier of III-V epiwafers, offering a diverse range of materials produced using MOCVD (Metal Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition) and MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) crystal growth platforms. IQE's European manufacturing facility and international HQ is based in Cardiff UK, a few hundred miles from Intense Photonics' wafer fabrication facility in High Blantyre. The strategic partnership will help to support efficient manufacturing as Intense Photonics ramps up production.
The company has already started delivering trial wafers, which are being used by Intense Photonics' design team for prototyping purposes, and by the operations department to help commission the QWI wafer fabrication line which is currently being installed.
Intense Photonics holds the intellectual property rights to optical component design ideas and manufacturing techniques - developed and refined over more than a decade at Glasgow University - that allow multiple optical communication functions to be combined on a single chip. Such monolithic devices are widely viewed as the key to extending the all-optical broadband revolution from the backbone telecom network to the desktop. Intense Photonics' technology portfolio includes a semiconductor process known as quantum well intermixing, which allows fiber optic components such as lasers to be monolithically integrated with other functions such as amplifiers, filters and switches � creating a platform to build economic routers and switches for today's DWDM
backbones and tomorrow's all-optical networks for metropolitan markets. The company acquired its plant - a semiconductor-grade facility built originally for DuPont Photomasks - in July 2001, and opened the facility in November 2001.
More information is available from: www.intensephotonics.com and www.iqep.com.